I understand about wanting the swim platform, it was a requirement when I bought my boat. My kids (7, 10, 14) and I like to swim from the boat, and the platform makes getting on the boat much easier. Also, my boat is on a mooring and we row out to the boat. Most bigger boats have too high freeboard to make an easy climb from the dink into the boat. The swim platform makes all the difference.
If you want a good boat for a cheap price, take a look here:
1986 Newport 33 Boat For Sale
I first noticed this boat about two years ago when it was for sale in Rochester. The new owner must have put a lot of money into it, and it now getting rid of it. You could just about steal it for that price, sail it for a few years, and then have a better idea of what you really like.
Note that I have never seen the boat in person, so it may be junk. I have seen a few Newport 33's (my previous boat was a Newport 28) and they are pretty nice. IMHO a little nicer than Catalina because of the teak and holley sole, nice cabinets, good layout, etc.