My opinion is that it seems the type of riders that ride the V are mostly, like myself, a bit older, from a dirt riding background, or have had bikes in the past. Been there done that on faster machines so to speak. We can't take the riding position of a sports bike (my hands would be numb in 15 minutes) but want the performance of one, without the all out speed to where you can't keep the front end on the pavement. I don't care about getting to 140 mph in 3 seconds, I just do not want to go that fast. I want enoungh power to handle road conditions, get out of the way if needed, and mostly have fun.
Like dallasdon said " The thrill of a motorcycle needs to be tempered with the sence of the rider". My motto, when in doubt slow down. Study the stats to know where accidents occure and learn from them. Talk to guys that have been riding a street bike for years and learn from them. Ride smart first, know your limitations, don't be in a hurry. Seems to me from your attitude so far dfreshb you'll last on the road just fine, taking the rider safty class before heading out on the road is something everyone should do, I did and I learned a lot. It also gave my wife some confidence I had my mind right for a bike, lets face it, when your married it helps if the wife is cool with things.
People who don't ride respond like you are risking your life, thats true. These same people said when I surfed I was going to get eaten by a shark, when I kayaked I was going to drown, and when I ski I am going to run into a tree. Good thing I don't listen to these people.
I thought I would feel more "at risk" on the road than I do. I feel confident on my V, and I watch my back all the time. If I'm burnt out on any given day, I ride the next.
I reccomend the book SPORTS RIDING TECHNIQUES by Nick Ienatsch. Lots of good information in there.
If you do decide to get a bike, you'll absolutley be happy with a Versys. Fun to ride, handles easy around town and in traffic, good visability, good on gas, plenty fast, and my favorite attribute, excellent in the twisties!
Have fun, ride smart.