Ditto what Brian said. The best thing you can do for yourself is FIRST get involved in the community, even if this means being a spectator, grabbing a pit pass, and asking questions. Observe, observe, observe… and then start asking more questions.
Once you have been trackside and witnessing how everything works, you will start to get a real clear picture of what kind of kart you should be starting in. Do not be afraid to ask for a test drive either. If you have a local club, email them and ask if they have anyone willing to give you a run in a Chonda, for instance. This is dangerous, by the way; as you WILL be hooked. You think you got it bad from driving a K1 kart? Just wait until you get out on the track in a proper kart.
Start in something you can afford, and when you are ready for bigger and better things, you will know.
Bottom line: find your local track and kart shop, and go to both. Talk to people. Introduce yourself, be polite, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice, a test drive, etc. You won’t get what you don’t ask for. There are so many great people in this sport who are willing to show you the way.
2010 Spirit [Birel] SP32 // SRS CR125 - Stock Honda [#08]
Hill Country Kart Club - New Braunfels, Texas - http://daledaugherty.wordpress.com/