I’d start by getting a copy of a magazine titled “Popular Communications” The center section carries listings of programs and times for the coming month. Mindless drivel? Sure, just like on AM and FM broadcast in the U.S. It’s your task to pick the good stuff!
Several years ago I bought a Sony ICF-2010 radio and it works very well. Not too bad with the telescoping antenna, but much better with a outdoor wire antenna or an “active antenna”. An active antenna usually uses a vertical whip and an amplifier to make up for the relativly short antenna. Don’t forget, “short wave” is in relation to the AM broadcast band. AM broadcast wavelengths are 160 meters and longer. The wavelengths involved in shortwave are 40 to 15 meter and nothing beats a good antenna.
The Sanagan’s have a pretty good reputation from what I hear, but I don’t know anybody who owns one. Don’t buy a non-digital tuned radio. They work O.K. but it’s almost impossible to find the same spot twice with any accuracy. You also want to have “syncronous detector tuning”. This is a method of injecting a carrier locally and can reduce the fading that’s often encountered.
The C. Crane site http://www.ccrane.com/ has a lot of information and is IMHO a reputable dealer.
I’m a Ham and now use those radios for my shortwave listening, so the Sony is not used too much anymore.
Hope that helps. As I said get a copy of the magazine and see what’s on the schedule.