Another yooper here!
You can get an XT225 cheaper than that if you shop around. I've seen new 2007s for around $3600 on eBay, being advertised by dealers in Wisconsin and downstate MI.
I am in Marquette. I JUST bought my first motorcycle, a 2006 XT225 with 121 miles on it, for $2400 from The Fish and Hunt Shop in Curtis! I got the tip on that bike from yooperbikemike in this forum! Mike is selling a DR350SE if you're thinking of starting cheaper: http://up.craigslist.org/mcy/629875349.html
I was considering an XT250 too. I like the round headlight better and it has a better frame design.
What's really nice about the XT225 is that the model has not been changed hardly at all for 10 years, so there is a lot of knowledge out there about it and a lot of aftermarket parts available, things like wide footpegs and nice cargo racks, that won't be available for the XT250 for some time.
I'm looking forward to all this late snow melting so I can ride....I'm taking the NMU MSF course the first weekend in May...
The other thing is hardly anyone here has an XT250 so there just isn't much riding experience so far...so it's hard to get much comparison info...