OK... what guitar for a certain dollar amount is a question that usually boars one to tears and has been over asked on this forum. But I really need some advice?

Getting old sucks. Now that I have time to play I can't play very long.

I have developed arthritis in my hands and am giving up the classical guitar seen for strumming and cords because my hands just don’t work anymore. I need to go narrower neck/nut and would like to find a guitar that sounds and plays nice using ultra light gage steel strings.

Living 150 miles from the nearest guitar shop is a real disadvantage. I am looking at the $750-1000 range. I am also looking at buying used. So I will likely buy on line.

Should I even be concerned with the weight of the string?

Also any advice on strings and different brands to try would be appreiciated.
Well, I can answer one of your questions from experience, of having played several Steel Strings and my own classical guitars. The strind diffence is not really a problem. You just have to get used to the different feel and you will be flying.

Sucks you have developed arthritis.
if your not used to steel strings (which is the what i understand to be the jist of this) dont worry you'll find it so much easier then nylon, nylon sound really good but i much prefer steel, just get a normal acoustic, you can probabely get a taylor in that range
sorry if i didnt understand the question
thats **** mate but the pressure needed to fret an accoustic may cause you problems

perhaps try a bit of slide
Quote by Sirnogbert
...Damn you.
i think the higher the string gauge is the more risk your guitar will take...
so using a light gauge string is better..

dont know where did i get this info but..
they say the ticker your string is it will give more warm sound and good in strumming..
but not good in bendings and some stuffs

the light string gives a crisp sound when you strum dunno where ive heard this...
good in bends and vibra.

not sure tho..
correct me if im wrong that will help