Thoughts on new boats
Here is my two cents:
For the type of sailing you are planning to do you can not go wrong with any of the big buiders like Beneteau,Dofour,Jeanneau or Catalina.In fact these boats in 36-40 foot range are built targeting customers with your needs.However don''t expect to have much light air performance from any of these boats.Except First and Fast series all of them have ubdersize rigs (values less than 18 SA/D)for obvious reasons.
Dehler,J boats Etc.are more performance oriented boats with the mainsheet traveler right in front of the tiller or wheel where it should be.They are also more expensive and out of your price range(in US not in Europe).
Etap which is certified unsinkable is a nice boat which has a detachable mainsheet traveler in the cockpit.
Buying used will give you the advantage of saving money but the process will be longer and sometimes frustrating(surveys,test sail,thing to be fixed before the transaction,seller backing off,traveling etc...)Buying new more expensive but less complicated and you will be covered under the manufacturers warranty.Try to negotiate the price and buy the least amount of options you can get away with.Most of it is cheaper to add-on after you buy the boat.