Thanks for the encouragement and advice! It's good to know that I am not starting out with impossible ambitions, and that when I do start shopping around, ease of rigging is going to be key. I'll be vacationing soon with people who have a little trailersailer, and I will definitely pay close attention to the process of getting it in and out of the water.
I'll have to look seriously at the Compac. It looks a little, um, chunky (How's that for a technical term?) at least compared with the boats that show up in my dreams -- but it sounds like they had someone like me in mind when they designed it. As for the Hobie Cat, I agree it has advantages, but I think I'm more of a monohull person at the moment - I don't really like sitting on a trampoline, and alas, I don't have any beach to beach it on...and speed is not really an issue, at least not yet!
USCGRET - tnx for the offer: I'll know who to call when I'm at the ramp, having trouble stepping the mast, with a dozen large and surly powerboaters in line behind me.