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Choices, choices, choices !
I could add little to Jeff''s excellent advice and list. I could suggest one thing, however, that might help aid your decision making process. Write down some key measurements of the boats you are looking at. I can imagine that cabin space is an important issue to you. By and large, gross indicators of cabin space are LWL (NOT LOA) and beam then displacement (to a certain degree...best when comparing boats of a similar design). And, most important...actually measure the berths when you look at a boat. You would be greatly surprised at the variation among different boats and how some boats with great LOA actually have smaller berths. In addition, measure the length of room between the vee berth (with the insert filled in) and the forward cabin door. All these measurements will be very helpful when you are sitting down trying to remember what that boat was like later on. It may also give you the answer you were looking for.
A few keys to comfort: a nice large sleeping berth for two, having a quarter berth in the hip of the boat for sleeping underway (you will likely NOT sleep in the vee berth while underway), having a settee arrangement that facilitates two people having their own to lie back and relax in (when you are relaxing down below, you will want to stretch out, lay back etc...both of you). There are other factors that can be found in a wealth of articles around here somewhere. You can easily search for them.
I might add a couple boats to Jeff''s list. They are not as fast as the ones on Jeff''s list, but they are good bluewater boats, quite popular still today and can be had in your range:
Allied 30, 32, 35 and 36
Now, it is true that all the above have relatively short waterlines for their design, but I have personally known quite a few people who swear by them and if you look online, you will find very good reports....for their age and price. These boats also tend to have narrow beams that increase their ultimate stability. For an excellent treatise on boat design and stability for offshore sailing, check out the new 30th edition of Adlard Coles "Heavy Weather Sailing"...now edited by someone else (name escapes me at the moment). You can find it at West Marine.
If you want to do some more research on various boats...which may or may not confuse the issue you can search USENET group postings on Google.com ...you will find some interesting, lengthy back and forths...but in that, you should be able to see whether or not there is a cogent argument for or against any individual designs. Keep in mind when reading reviews...all owners love their boats and all magazine reviews write favorable reviews. SOMETIMES you CAN actually find some interesting info on fatal flaws in a boat if you dig deep enough in the owners group posting of maintenance issues.
Hope this helps.