I have an Elite 29. I really like the interior. very open. lots of room for sails if you plan on racing. you can slap a lot of headsails up in the forward V-bearth. It really likes winds in the 15kt range. above 17 i put the reef on the main, non racing conditions, so with a decent amount of rail meat you can keep the full main up in higher winds with a blade jib.
Mine is a CB model, so it has the slighty shorter rig, than the 30R. The cockpit is a bit cramped, but i have the wheel option, so with the stick it should be a bit opened up for the extra crew when racing. There are not any handholds in the cabin up high for grabing in heavy weather. You tend to not walk very far in the boat, so this is not a big deal, but can be annoying at times.
Storage is adequate, but fuel is a bit low for any extended cruising. We went through 24g of diesel on our trip from NY to NC. The tank only holds 6. I will admit that one of our crew was more of a motor guy, so on most of his watches he would start the Iron jib if the winds died just a bit. For this reason we prolly used significantly more diesel than we should have.
Like you i have never raced/owned a boat with a motor before. It does take some getting used to. It will also take some getting used to the sheer mass of a 30+' boat compared to a 20' cat. I have a Nacra 5.2 that i have sailed for the past 15+ years.
I am guessing you are looking at the Elite 30 in Mi. When i was looking for my boat i almost flew up to look at that one. My wife decided she wanted wheel steer, she always had trouble tillering the nacra.
i am unable to post the link to the owners group, due to me not having more than 10 posts.
i will give you hint, it starts with http and ends with groups.yahoo.com/group/eliteowners. lets see if this gets by the filter.
here is the link to the yahoo group for Kirie owners. I just sent a lot of brochure and manuals to the moderator for posting in the files section. Nearly all of the info is the same between the 29 and the 30. Hopefully it will get posted soon to help you with your decision.
if you have any specific questions fire away.