Avoid old Stanley planes with a kidney shaped hole in the lever cap. Look for the keyhole shape, they are a sign that the plane was made before WW2. I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “they don’t make them like they used to”. Also know that corrugated soles usually do more harm than good, so I avoid them. When you have the plane in hand make sure the knob and tote do not wobble and are solid. If you are restoring a smoothing plane or block plane the flatness of the sole matters. However if you are restoring a scrub or fore plane it does not matter as much. This is because scrub and fore planes are for rough work and smoothing and block planes are for fine work. If you go through the effort of flattening the sole you may as well flatten the sides for good measure. I would recommend getting a honing guide once you have acquired a few planes. It will make it easy to maintain specific bevel angles on different irons. For example you may have two irons to do different types of work. Maybe one is at 25° for end grain work and the other is at 33° for smoothing work. The irons that come with the hand plane may not have much life left. In that case, I can recommend Hock irons.