Welcome to the hobby that "lets the chips fall
where they may"!
I have a Jet 16" swing by 42" length electronic variable speed reversible lathe as my primary lathe. I also have a Jet 10" swing by 24" length variable speed non-reversible midi lathe which I frequently take with me on camping trips.
Not too long ago I videotaped a two-hour demo on multi-axis turning, done by a super turner, who owns multiple lathes and does some amazing stuff. He did the demo on the Delta midi lathe and spoke very highly of it as he used it. I considered the Delta, but at my age, even hauling around the Jet 1024 is a handful, and the Delta is substantially heavier.
For the same reason of weight
limits, I decided against the Jet 1220 because it was too heavy. And I really didn't need the 12" capacity, since I already had the 16" Jet for work at home.
I started with a hand-me-down from my Dad. It was a Craftsman 6"(?), with a stamped steel bed. No cast iron. Eventually traded for a cast iron 12" x 36" Jet 5-speed. That's the one I got started with in the Woodturning club.
I am still a beginner, but I enjoy the challeng.
I encourage you to search out the nearest woodturning club and start asking questions.
PS: I am working on a new "winged bowl" out of teak, which I will take to the Oregon Gathering if I can get it done by then (we are traveling to So Calif to visit my 95-year-old Mom for several days, which will make it nip and tuck to get the bowl done in time.) I'll post a photo of it here when I get it done.
The "bowl" is only about 5" in dia., but the wings are 12" long and only about 1/8 " thick.
If you check my first post....the first photo shows 3 different winged bowls, the front one is a teak winged bowl that was turned from a 3/4" thick piece of teak.