I know this is an old thread, but I'm answering it anyway.
Yes, I have experience with the SVT-40. It has one or two things to watch out for, mechanically, but other than that they are an enjoyable weapon to fire, a very neat collectible, and unfortunately since we aren't in Canada, rather on the more expensive side. I understand that in Canada you can purchase them for under $500.
The mechanical problems that are encountered are corrosion because of poor cleaning in the gas system, maladjustment of the gas system, and aftermarket magazines (they rarely fit without tweaking). There are replacement gas systems available. Because the recoil is adjusted though settings on the gas system, it can beat the rifle to pieces or simply not produce enough ooomph to feed properly. The adjustment is done with a specific tool. Originals are $120, good and effective new manufacture are less, but harder to find.
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