I would put you in a prostock or vert feed, post 2k2. As for speed, get an E2, with a little looking and a little patience you could get one for around $200. As long as you know what you are doing (and are prepared to read a lot about them) all cockers are dependable.
Cockers are actually pretty cheap compared to other guns you build them piece by piece. Just start your project, and keep an eye on people selling stuff. If you are patient the right deal will come along. I just built a WorrFramed 2k3 Vert feed for $80 out of leftover parts between my brother and I, and almost all cocker owners have leftover parts.
How much speed are you looking for? Unless you move your fingers faster than Chuck Norris you wont be able to outshoot an E-blade. If you are trying to break the 20bps barrier, look into eventually mid-blocking. There are a few shops that have reasonable prices.
Paintball makes a nice hobby, but when you wake up in the morning and pee paint you are in too deep.