I would add that it is important to spend some time crewing with an experienced hand even for the small things that you learn, and also to find out if you really do like it. Some people who love saiing on paper find that they are always seasick. Or they don't like the long periods of quiet (I love them). Nice to know before you sink your life savings into it.
An awful lot of sailing involves getting a feel for things and knowing how to react quickly and correctly in a situation that develops suddenly. These tend to come from experience.
Lessons are not everything, I have sailed for more than 50 years (yeesh) and learned from watching and doing, not formal lessons. Reading helps, but it will not dock a boat in a crosswind. You should (and it sounds like you have) read as much as possible, but take it slow and build your skills in bite size segments. Solo sailing can be tricky, it should not be your sole plan.
And I agree that your budget is not enough for that size boat.
Last edited by tweitz; 12-10-2010 at 08:33 AM.