All great suggestions. Please take some ASA courses (101-103) to get started. You'll catch on quick. Go to the big shows; after a while you start to see what you like and the drivability. Meaning, how easy certain winches come to hand (placement), lay out of deck, anchor lockers, lay out below (galley, saloon). Many other factors.
I'd say most sailboats can sail around the world. Its a matter if you and the boat will make it back in one piece.
Good thing is; you guys are taking your time before investing. You'll have a good idea after a couple of years.
Also, get a small trailer sailor to mess around during your free time. That will definitely help to hone your skills. Something under 18 feet i think would be good. Less hassle to get out on the water with and cheaper to maintain.
The evolution of sailboats in the last 5 years seems to be getting quicker and quicker as they improve production techniques. Keep your eyes open.
Hunter just brought a new 40 footer; it took 5 months from start to finish. Amazing. I don't like it, but, it makes it easy for them to make corrections and make what the market wants.
I think there are some nice hunter/catalina/beneteau models that are ocean worthy. Just keep reading on sail net!
Give you an idea what's out cruising the world...
World Cruising Club - World ARC Entries