The 12 GB still has a place to take a HDD, right? If my PS3 broke right now, and ignoring any bundles making for a better deal, I'd probably just get that and throw my current HDD in it, especially with the PS4 so close.
Of course I'm a PS+ subscriber. The older system with 1 year for $250 is them basically throwing in a 250 GB HDD for free.
Hmm, that's not a bad point. I don't currently have PS+, so that might wind up being the best option here. Used PS3s aren't that much cheaper than $200.
PS plus is THE BEST RORIE! It gives you so many free games, and discounts too. Highly, highly worth it.
Just some of the games I've gotten and played for free:
XCOM, Hitman Absolution, Saints Row the Third, Battlefield 3, Sleeping Dogs. Next month is Shadow of the Colossus HD!