Great post Kevin! That is SO true!
On Tennessee Walkers being "hot." I swear from my (albiet limited) personal experience that basically all gaited horses I have ever met are "hot." But when I asked the same question in the gaited breeds section of the forum they swore that was not true!
I have a Missouri Fox Trotter and love her to death, but she is the most "Arabian" non-Arabian I have ever met! Very sensitive, very excitable, very sweet, very kind, and did I mention she is sensitive and excitable!? I also know other people with Walkers and Fox Trotters and their horses are pretty much the same. I am trying to rack my brain for any gaited horses I have met that aren't bouncing off the walls. Hmmm, I can't think of any at the moment. But it could be that they keep the calm ones in their home states and ship the nervous ones out West, lol!
Actually, my first horse was an a-typical, calm, lazy Arabian.
I always heard good things about QH's but never was that impressed until I met a lady with really GOOD Quarter Horses. Those horses ARE what Quarter Horses are always touted to be- calm, kind, laid back, anyone can ride types of horses. But they are also well bred, well trained, high end QH's. I have found the ones at the lower end of the market to be a crap shoot in temperment and trust worthiness, just as with every other breed. You may get a good horse cheap, or you may be buying someone else's problem horse.
So yes, I think Kevinshorses is right-on! Get a good, older horse that is beginner safe. Don't worry too much about breed, color, etc.