It all depends upon what you're looking for in an airplane. Ultralights are cheap and easy, if you just want to putt around by yourself. But, do you need more seats that that? And how much money do you have to throw at the thing? Consider buying a project that someone else has started. I think it's around 70% of homebuilts that are started change owners at least once before they're finished. This will keep you from looking at a big box of parts with no end in sight, and will probably save you a few bucks, too. Try www.barnstormers.com
or trade a plane to try to locate projects.
Try www.sonex-ltd.com An awesome little airplane that 2 people will sit in, and extremely easy assemble. Depending on which engine you choose you can build it complete for between 15 and 25k. Performance is as good or better than advertized. Dont be fooled by RV's factory numbers, they tend not to mention the fact that their 180hp engine is really putting out around 210....they're still great planes though. Have fun
If you are looking for a quick build, tubing and fabric I would have to second the Rans suggestion. I worked for the company for three years and really loved the way the little planes flew. My favorite model was the S-7. I would suggest a tour of the factory reguardless of the company you decide to go with. Good Luck and have fun with your project. www.rans.com
have to say a cozy mark 4 - a 2+2 seater. 1700 long, vari, cozies flyin. i betcha 95%+ were first time builders, the plans are an education process.
buy the time you are done - you are educated and understand it all. the parts you make start out simple and as you gain experience, the parts become more complex. one of the benefits of plans is no kit manufacturer to go out of business and many more, if you want more info, just ask