The long story short of this post is that I am considering what may be the best airplane to eventually own given my intentions and financial situation. I am a student pilot with approximately 7 hours a flight time. I am training in the Cessna C162, and I am proceeding through training relatively well. My first solo flight is supposed to be within the next 2 or 3 hours of flight time. My long-term goals are to obtain my PPL with an instrument rating and within a couple of years purchase my own airplane. I have a girlfriend (future wife?) and we would like to do some traveling. We do not have any children and don't plan to. We live in Texas and our goal would be occasional weekend or weeklong interstate flights to different areas in the United States. Yellowstone, Florida, Colorado, etc. And also I'm sure just some pleasure flying around our local airport. Combined personnel and baggage weight would probably be in the vicinity of 400-500 lbs. I realize that this is not a cheaper substitute for travel, but it is something that I am loving and something that she wants to be able to do together. The C162 is certainly not going to cut it for such adventures, so I know that something larger would be necessary. The flight school also has C172s and a Piper Archer III. I have flown the Piper Archer III once and really loved it. However, I still want to do some flying in the C172s and see how that feels. My problem is that I have a tendency to go overboard in situations like this. I start researching 172s, then 182s, then twin-engines, and before you know it I'm convinced that the only suitable airplane for me is a Cessna Citation. I am trying to curb that tendency. But by the same token, I don't want to lock myself into thinking that I can ONLY start with something like a Piper Archer or C172 if there is something with a little more carrying space, range, power, room, etc that might be more suitable. For example, a Mooney, Bonanza, Cirrus, etc. Some of my specific issues and questions are as follows: 1) My budget is probably going to be somewhere around $150,000. Unfortunately I'm assuming that this will likely eliminate any decent high-dollar plane, but perhaps a good deal out there could be found. 2) I want a glass cockpit. Even if that means retrofitting an older Piper or Cessna with glass, so be it. Are there some older airplanes that I might otherwise consider that simply cannot be retrofit, and therefore I can scratch off my list? 3) At what point is a higher-end airplane "too much" for a beginning pilot? I know with a PPL I could easily go out and buy a used C172 and not have too much trouble with insurance or having the seller a little weary of selling it to me. I also know that trying to buy a King Air would be ridiculous. So, where is the line? Would something like a Mooney M20M, Bonanza A36, or Cirrus SR-20 or 22 be too much? This may be a ridiculous question, but I am so new that I simply don't have a good grasp of what is realistic. I don't want to waste a lot of time looking at planes out of my league... or getting my hopes up. Anyway, that's a long post. I just want some direction well ahead of time before I am looking seriously at making a purchase. Thanks in advance!