This thread has been missed may be because it has not been posted in correct category. Editors are requested to make change in category in case the new author have posted in different place. So, that the answer would be given on time.
Sorry to reply late, though I got the message of this thread posting but somehow mistakenly I have posted in music category, where same like guitar questions were posted.
Let come to the point. After reading your thread, I feel that you have no budget problem for buying a good guitar. You just need to decide if you are serious to learn guitar or just want to buy it for fun (I mean temporally). If you are really serious, please do not go very basic guitar it will not solve your purpose. Buy above model than the basic one so that it will serve your purpose for a longer period of time without upgrading your instruments.
No serious damage can happen to any guitar if you look after it properly. Yes, sometime due to weather or not playing regularly, the guitar neck gets bend, which can be cured easily.
Please go through my this article (mentioned below) for more details, I am sure it will help you to buy a good guitar.
How to select an acoustic guitar for a beginner
Is this a good answer ?