I don't know about locally, but I did the try and buy with a cordoba C10 through sweetwater. Ultimately the guitar was not for me, but I have to admit the process was painless, from ordering, all the way to shipping back. Completely hassle free. FWIW if I was choosing between the C9 and C10 I'd definitely get the C9, I think it sounds more balanced, and is the better deal.
Another brand I'd suggest is Casa Montalvo; they are probably the most bang for buck out there. They are made in Paracho Mexico, and set up at Berkeley music. They are very good student guitars. I have one of the Hauser select models with Cocobolo back and sides and it's a very very good guitar, especially in that price range. I've seen them used for under 1,000 on Reverb - and I don't think anything can touch them for that price.
For a little more used - but it might take some luck - is to find a good deal on a used 120 or 130 anos Ramirez, or PE model Allejandro Cervantes or Francisco Navarro. Don't be put off by guitars built in Paracho, Mexcio - they are making some great guitars right now.