It depends on what you want. A pickup truck is certainly an awful alternative if you want good mpg. I am also planning on getting a car 5k or less, preferably under 3k. The older civics and the tercel are good options too.
These days, if you're trying for a car at that kind of price, I've just got to tell you, it's going to be basic transportation, probably won't be in terribly good cosmetic shape, but the prime consideration, in fact, really the only
consideration, will be "does it run, and is it reliable?".
The Geo Metro was a car full of good intentions, and as long as it's reliable, it's better than nothing. I rented one 31 years ago for a training seminar in Jacksonville, Florida, and somehow, I managed to drive it 300 miles in one day. Jacksonville is a big place geographically, and I'd also gone on down to St Augustine and up to Georgia that day, so that probably would
add up to 300 miles.
I'd find a trustworthy dealer, preferably someone you know, and go from there. Best of luck to you.