I agree with those here who have suggested that you consider other tools first although this really depends on the type of work you intend to do. While the table saw may be the heart of a cabinet shop that uses mostly sheet good,if you want to build Queen Anne reproductions you will wish you had a band saw instead of that table saw that is now just taking up space and collecting dust!
If you are intending to do cabinet shop work then you should get the best and most powerful saw that you can afford. An underpowered, undersized saw is an accident waiting to happen. After 20 years as a hobby woodworker and 2 years in the business I can attest to the danger of trying to do too much with too little!
When deciding on the right saw the reviews mentioned will point you in the right direction but I suggest finding a dealer that will let you try the saw you are interested in, try more than one if possible and pick the saw that feels "best" to you. As a woman woodworker on the short side( at least compared to the men these tools were designed for) I was amazed to find how much an inch difference in height or blade distance affected my comfort level with the saw.
I also think that the more reading and videos you can absorb the better... you really do need to understand the tool you are buying. The classes would be a big help too IF you can find a shop teacher that won't treat you "like a girl" and will really teach you what you need to know!
Good luck with your shopping.
Please don't start with the "I'm a woman and I don't get treated fairly stuff" Women have become and are becoming more than an equal in the work place and in society. There are more women in high-powered jobs today than there ever were. I'm sure there are women in this trade whom are better than some of the men, "In the professional end" If you feel like the person you're going to learn from is sexist or discrimates, don't take the class. Ask the proper questions ahead of time so you can make the right decision.
The chances of a store allowing someone to try out the table saw before they use it is very unlikely due to insurance reasons.
From that point-of-view, you'd be better off listening to the people who do it every day for a living. Myself included.
I do believe that even if you're doing queen anne pieces, you'll still need an accurate table saw and jointer to make the pieces you're starting with, square.
Unfortunately, there isn't such a thing as a "Wood Stretcher"