I've had a number of new clarinet purchase inquiries lately, so here are my current recommendations.
The clarinet market has gotten out of hand, and the "standard" that everyone used to get, the Buffet R-13, is now priced at $3300+ for a nickel-plated version, uses less-than-exceptional wood, and has somewhat wide variation in performance so you have to play quite a few to find the ones that play well. Any big shops locally will be picked through. It's frustrating for teachers, and next to impossible for inexperienced students to know the difference.
So, the question: "I've got a lot of students who don't plan to be clarinet majors, but need equipment that is competitive at the school band and youth orchestra level, so what are they supposed to buy?"
Well, I'm assuming that the student already has a decent mouthpiece, ligature, reed, combination...
First up at $2500 or so is the Yamaha CSVR Bb, which is truly an R-13 killer. It blends well in sections of Buffets, yet has a much better/smoother mechanism, silver-plated keys by default, and the same superb intonation that all Yamaha clarinets have. If students MUST have something that is Buffet-like, the CSVR is the most logical choice. Look, I personally hated Yamaha clarinets twenty years ago, their professional models were bright and unsophisticated sounding, which is why they sucked. It's a much different story in the 21st century! You can get both a Bb and an A for a smidgen over $5000, which is about the same as a single premium model from Buffet.
Now, my recommendation these days as a "best bang for the buck" is the Yamaha YCL-650 Bb clarinet. From a Yamaha dealer you can usually find this instrument in the neighborhood of $1800. I always replace the stock barrel (which feels stuffy to me) with a Backun MoBa 66+ barrel in grenadilla wood, which even at full retail is only $231. This combination will play circles around practically everything out there, combining Yamaha's superb fit-and-finish and intonation with Backun's premium barrel. And this will be a NEW instrument, not used! Two of my recent students use this combo.
If you're ready to go out on a limb, the Backun Protege at $2515 comes in grenadilla with silver-plate and also includes a left hand Eb lever! Backun clarinets have a different tonal aesthetic than Buffet or Yamaha, so you'll need to try it with your current mouthpiece to see if you like what they do. Backun's keywork is exceptional, even better than Yamaha's in many places because they come with so many more built-in adjustment mechanisms.
There are many more options out there in this price range, including the Gao Royal, RZ Bohema, Selmer SeleS, Leblanc Serenade, and Uebel Advantage, but I am not as familiar with their product lineups, you'll have to visit NAMM, the Midwest Clinic, ClarinetFest, or one of the other big shows to try them out.