Oh man... This thread just keeps on giving. Thoroughly enjoying it.
I'm a relative newb. Play at Panther field (I'm a West Coaster living on the overpriced West Coast). My advice... Talk to Optix at Airsoft Gear. Rent a gun and come out and play a few games... Then decide what to buy. While you are out... Get Optix to age verify you as well.
Seems to me that a lot of very knowledgeable players have given you some pretty good advise. It's your money in the end though.