I know that Catalina 22 quite well. My father owned 3 Catalinas (22, 27, 30) and I worked for two dealers in the South Jersey area in the late 70's. I think that Catalina in general is a fine boat for its intended purpose (overnighting and coastal sailing). You won't go wrong owning one.
I do not think that you will be happy trying to squeeze 4 people inside the 22 for anything more than an hour. You can not come close to standing and the "galley" is a joke. It's a great day sailor or overnighter for a couple of adults on a cool night; it gets REAL stuffy REAL fast in warm weather. You would do much better to get a Catalina 25 or 27 or something similar. Go older if the price is a problem; the great thing about Catalinas is that there are lots of them and the prices are appropriately low.
As to difficulty handling a first boat; it's like anything else. Practice, ask questions, don't be afraid to mess up. EVERYONE on Sailnet has messed up (see the Bonehead Moves thread
). if you haven't messed up more than once, you haven't been on the water long.
My recommendation is to go with the 25, take some lessons on the boat, read, ask questions, don't get too uptight when you mess up (you will), seriously analyze when you mess up, and have fun. This boating stuff isn't magic though boat yards, riggers, sailmakers, engine mechanics, and assorted dock rats will lead you to believe so.