If you really want to play boat.....get a full on play boat. You won't be happy with the performance of anything else in the long run. Just start out easy on class 2 stuff and progress at your own pace. Later down the road, get yourself a creek boat for harder stuff.
The learning curve will be steeper, and you'll get tossed around more, but if you are one of those people that's persistent and is a quickish learner, it's the way to go.
Otherwise, get a used Jackson fun for cheap and learn in that. It'll be more new boater friendly. But from the sounds of it, you'll end up getting rid of it in a year or so to get a full on play boat. So if I were you, I wouldn't spend the money on a brand new free runner type boat. At least if you get a used fun, you won't lose much if any money when you end up selling it. Tey hold their used value pretty well.
Other than that, I recommend demoing. Otherwise you won't know how those boats compare, or what feels right to you. You really have to try them yourself to know what's going to work the best for you. You can look at the specs and read reviews all day, but they just can't tell you which one will feel right.