Hey just a couple of ideas....I know making your first model purchase is big and of course costs a lot of money but here might be some options of a vehicle that can both be competative for the first time racer as well as have great rtr features. Like I said I am not here to talk you out of a Traxxas but if you add up the cost of a new motor and a Traxxas RTR you can get a more competative vehicle. After all I think everyone on here wants the sport to grow and there is nothing more frustrating than finally hitting the track or bashing with your friends and not being competative.
Here is the new Sportworks Raven: Comes with ball bearings and a 19t motor.
Here is the latest T4 RTR looks awsome with a 17 turn motor and the newest AI ESC. Also right now Tower Hobbies has 30$ off any purchase over 199$
Good Luck and welcome to RC!!