I recently purchased a used Voyager 17 and Hinterburg frame and ***love*** it! It was an affordable setup for me and is a nice entry level setup.
In your situation, however, I would probably be looking at an Innova, which is considerably more expensive but also has a lot of very nice features. A lot depends on what dealers are in your area, as it helps a lot getting started to have a supportive dealer nearby.
Plan to attend a large quilt show and try out the longarm setups there. You might be surprised at how different the various major setups can "feel" to you. I tried out several, and the Innova was my favorite.
It would be a good idea to join the homequiltingsystems group on groups.yahoo.com for additional information from users of the machine/frame setups you are considering. This is a very large, active group of quilters using many different kinds of setups from the ultra-inexpensive to the ultra-high level.
Some time ago I read an article (that has since been removed from the internet) that, for most home quilters, 24" is usually the maximum comfort level for arm reach. The longer arm setups (26", 28") are more appropriate for professionals. I did find this article online, although it doesn't offer a lot of specific information or comparison info: