I have raced on a Catalina 27 for the past three summers. They are a real mixed bag. They offer a lot of room, and sail reasonably well for the money (should be able to buy a clean one should be less than $8-11K). In many areas like ours there are a one design fleet of the outboard versions and there is good close racing.
The down side is that these are pretty lightly built boats and they are up in years so when things get dicey stuff breaks. The big genoas and small winches take pretty strong crew members. The big genoas and spinackers are pretty short lived and are really quite expensive. On the flip side, the small mainsails last forever and are cheap to buy.