... Finally, I've got a used H17..... Oh yeah, my H17 can smoke a Wave any day....
I took the opposite route of jackB, I wanted a Getaway, after having an Adventure Island. I looked at what it would take to assemble, store, and use a Getaway, and then ended up finding a great deal on a used Bravo. I bought the Bravo. (as a "for now" boat)
Guys who sail the 16's and 17's and other Hobie's always talk about their speed, but if you skim the forums, they'll also be full of stories about their maintenance. Nothing wrong with those boats, and maybe I'll end up with one some day, but the Bravo, Wave, Getaway family of boats is SO low maintenance, it's not even funny. Less maintenance, means more sailing time.
Also, about speed. If speed were the only factor in fun, we'd all be on motorboats. My A.I. was slower than my Bravo, but it was still a lot of fun. More fun than many larger boats! I've been out on some pretty fast sailboats, and there's no question that speed is fun, but you know what I realized, especially for a beginner? Simplicity is also a lot of fun. Sailing a slower boat fast, is often as much, or more fun then sailing a faster boat slow. A Wave and a Bravo will be very easy to right after a capsize. If you're a beginner, knowing that you can push things right to the limit, will make you a better sailor, than always worrying about tipping, and having to back off.
If I have 1 hour to sail, I can get my boat from trailer to water in five minutes. Literally! That leaves 50 minutes to sail, and another 5 minutes to put everything back on the trailer, and secure. Guys with the 16's and 17's just aren't doing that if they're relying on trailers.
I love my Bravo, it's the fastest dingy on the lakes that I sail on. I'm often able to beat some large Cabin Cruising boats on Lake Ontario.
You can always move up, if speed is what you want. But sailing a boat like the Wave, (or even my Bravo) is a great way to learn to sail, without having to learn about all of the maintenance. My advice, Get a trailer. When you're new, you want to sail, not assemble. It's worth the money. I had mine custom built, and it's a huge time saver!