That is 2 different questions. Traditions has an inexpensive ML but you get what you pay for, IMO the tc encore is the best because of the oppitions that come along with it, buy one and end up with 100 defferent guns some time down the line as money allows. Just my thoughts.
I'll recommend the Lyman GPR in .50 perc. as a trad. ML and any kind of the Traditions break open ML in .50 as a modern one. The newest model is the buckstalker. It has break open system and is available in .50.
Like most everything else there is certainly something to "you get what you pay for". That being said I shoot a Traditions break action and have no problems or issues. I uncategorically reccomend it for someone just starting out.
rjr, I shoot a CVA Optima and would recommend it to anyone. It shoots great and is easy to clean. It fit right in with my budget as well. Whatever you decide on though, if this is your first, welcome to the world of muzzle loader hunting. I am sure you will love it.
From the books that I have read, there is a lot of importance in knowing every nook and cranny of your hunting territory as well as the animal that you are hunting. So scouting as much as possible, just walking the land, will give you a good idea of what's around the corner or what's on the other side of a hill. Which can be very beneficial.
Making your own maps of human and deer trails, and different types of foliage such as group of pines,...