What kind of lake(s) will you be on? Big lakes, I'd go with an older Ranger. Small lakes, the Bass Tracker would be good.
Something in the 17'-18' range in good condition with a 90-150 hp motor would be a nice starter setup. I've got a 17' Triton with a 115 Evinrude and it's been a great boat. Dad bought it new in 1997 and I've had it the last 5 years. Never had a major problem.
Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
- Soren Kierkegaard