Re: Starting From Scratch...
Write down 5 words that describe the boat you envision. Bargain? Pretty? Fast? Comfortable? Teak? Classic? Modern? That'll lead you to a decision and help us help you.
For some, it is practicality and value. Catalina and Hunter have that covered very nicely. Others prefer something with a bit more cachet... maybe a Cape Dory or Sabre. You get my drift. A boat is not a TV you just buy on price and specs... it has to "move" you.
I own a boat not particularly well-suited to the way I use it. And I wouldn't trade it for one worth twice as much.