A "professional" violin is not based on price, years of age, etc. A professional violin is an instrument that is really being used by professioanl musicians. That said, yes good quality professional level instruments are expensive and often older.
That said, if you are thinking about an instrument for yourself you need to take inventory of your skills and ability, and you need to decide what you want to do where you want to play, etc. You need to talk with your private instructor about upgrading your instrument choice. You may want to spend a lot less on a newer made instrument for now and then play a number of other instruments over the years until you find what you are looking for. When you are ready you can contact an instrument broker to find the perfect instrument for YOU.
I don't have any friends who have purchase a violin recently but I do have two friends who purchased violas. One was $40K, the other was $132K.
Re: professional violin - please define 17:40 on Tuesday, December 29, 2009