For the record I have sailed the Macgregor 26M in what should have been ideal conditions, good breeze and flat water. Lets just say I was not converted.....
Well, if I was accustomed to sailing the boat Faster has you can be darn sure I would not be converted either, that would be like trading my Lincoln Mark VIII for a Chevy Cavalier.
Buying your first boat is much like your first car in high school, you buy what you can afford and learn to drive. It does not have to be a peformance car to learn on, just something to have fun with and drive around the school with all your freinds in it and show off to the girls. Remember how much fun you had with it and how proud you were to have it. Remember how it opened up a whole new world to you, took you places you had never been before?
Well the MacGregor can do the very same thing, but being a hybrid, when the wind dies down, or the current runs against you, you can still make way at a decent clip and get to your destination. If it turns out you enjoy motoring more than sailing then you have that option too, not every boater who tries sailing stays with it, some of them switch to power boats because they discovered sailing just does not quite do it for them.
You don't need a pure sailboat to learn on, but it does help to buy something you can divest yourself of easily if it does not work out for you. MacGregors sell themselves, out of the driveway....not the costly marina slip. They are much like a little sport utility, not pure car nor pure truck, but hybrid.
They will provide you with all the fun and excitement you need to get started and then some. At the same time you have the option to discover wether you prefer powering over sailing! For a power boat they sail pretty good and for a sailboat they power better than most, what more can I say, nuff said.