You can look at the links following my signature for a couple of links to recommendations and read the book that is mentioned there. If what you will be doing is lake sailing there a whole lot of different boats to choose from. Catalina
and Islander are just a few I can think of just now.
When you start looking and do find something you think you might like then post in the monohull
section giving the name of the manufacturer of the boat
and ask for opinions. More than likely someone here has had one and can give you an intelligent opinion. Boats in your budget
I've owned or sailed extensively are Catalina
22, Catalina 27 and a Columbia
28 and I'd recommend those but like I said there are many more to consider including Ericsons and Pearsons.
Good luck in your search.