As it comes down to me spending the actual cash I am really questioning myself again. Is abandoning D&D 3.X for GURPS the right thing to do? I don't want to be confined just to fantasy but I've heard GURPS is really only good for modern and future settings. Since I'm really not interested in modern that pretty much confines me to Future/Sci-Fi. I realize both systems have supplements that were published which will allow me to play in other genres but at the systems core, they were designed primarily for or just work the best with, it functions near-seamlessly with really only one setting.
Sure the rules can be bent but this requires time. The more house-rules you create the harder it is going to be for new players to feel comfortable and secure with your setting. One of the biggest cons for me right now, as far as D&D is concerned, isn't so much the fantasy setting as it is the rules. I've ready many complaining and stating that they are overly complicated. Combat can take a very long time with a lot of enemies on the board. Monte Cook's final battle had over 100 mini's on the board (95% were non-party friendly). I can't even imagine how long it must have taken them to work through that final battle.
I'm changing my focus from Wargaming to get some serious RP. I prefer to have 75% RP and 25% combat on average in my sessions. I know there will be some very serious combat heavy portions of the campaign and that is fine by me. What I fear is over complicated combat that really slows down the game. I know players will get bored when it isn't their turn but I want to minimize the chances of this happening as much as possible. With GURPS MUCH simpler gaming mechanics (character creation aside) I think it would allow for far less "I'm bored" moments.
From what I understand GURPS is about world building though. How much preparation am I really looking at before I can start playing a meaningful campaign? I know that DM who doesn't prep much will probably have a decently shallow campaign and the DM who invests a lot of time will have a more rewarding campaign. Not in the sense that the DM creates all the monsters and lays down a concrete path the PC must walk, but in that the game is played in a very detailed world like D&D is. A DM has to do little preparation in D&D and his players will generally have a firm understanding of the world around them. GURPS I would imagine is quite different. It is geared towards world building isn't it? Not a lot of ready made modules or super detailed worlds you can easily adventure in like Ptolus?
I'm really struggling here guys and gals. Please give me feedback. Is fear of combat a stupid reason not to get into D&D 3.X? Am I putting far to much emphasis on world building to have an enthralling experience in the GURPS world? Is GURPS a bad choice for my introduction to role playing? Is the combat really not horribly different between D&D and GURPS? Please help guide me.