What I want to see
when I look at the sole of a used plane
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    There are a few things that don't trouble me at all.  As I've said, I don't mind a little rust and even some pitting as long as it's not located on or around the mouth of the plane.  I don't expect to see a clean sole.  Planes that find there way to flea markets or garage sales are usually planes that collectors and the people who sell to collectors have passed over.
This is about as good as it gets when you're looking at a a used plane from a flea market or a garage sale.  There are lots of minor scuffs and scratches along the center of the sole, on both sides of the mouth.  This usually happens through normal wear.  Check to see that the scratches aren't deep.  You're going to have to remove iron to get rid of  them.  

This is one of those things I'd love to see. a sole that's only been scratched along the edge.  Depth doesn't matter as much here, because this area should never touch the bamboo strip.  As long as you can get the area of the scratches flat, you don't have to worry about them.
This is another Sole that I'd love to see. The scratches are across the sole, not near the mouth and not to deep.  If you can flatten this sole.  You won't have to worry about completely removing these scratches.   Some planes are actually built with corrugated soles to reduce the amount of drag across the material. 
By now you should have noticed a recurring theme.  The mouth should be free of  deep scratches, dents and chips.  The area around the mouth should be fairly clear of scratches dents and pitting.  The entire sole should be free of deep gouges, scrapes or excessive pitting.  You can live with a few blemishes around the edge of the sole, but not next to the place where the blade touches the bamboo.

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