Hmmm, I thought that TooMuchEpoxy posted a thread about raceboards and not kites ?
As IMO (and I think he knows that), it is not about the kite - but all about the rider and the board(fins)
As long as the kites are a similar type with good power and not too low AR - they will all work fine and pretty "alike" I think.
Even those a bit different, will usually perform close to the same, as rider and board means soooo much more than the kite in my experience.
Or are you also talking about you want your buddies to change to similar kites in the full series too ?
(I dont think so though - does not make any sense....)
Back to topic, if I understood you correctly:
The problem with the less expensive "racelike" boards, like the North LTD 2010 or similar, is that they are all made for "the intermediate" rider, meaning either the board is tuned down by having more curve etc (like the Sectors), and the fins are definitely tuned down a lot to allow for "an easy ride"
So if you have to change fins, the cost-effective board will be a lot more expensive suddenly.
But quite important if you want to "learn" to race and how it feels - as it is by far the most important difference in my eyes.
We have had the exact same thoughts as you, here locally, if one could find a standard board and make racing easy to participate in, gearwise - it would be so much fun for so many riders, instead of only the top riders (with money or sponsorship).
This way there could be weekly, or twice a week, afternoons/evenings after work, where everyone could meet for some fun and practice racing on a up/down course set at the club.
This is not possible now, when no standard "reasonable" gear is present.
So it has not happened yet here - as it seems too difficult with to many changes still going on amongst the boards (and expensive fins)
I hope you will succed in making a small fleet to race with and against
Awesome feel to practice going both up and downwind and to push your vmg's to the max
Not racing myself now, just enjoying the freeride options, and of course competing for fun against "whatever" is around, dinghys and keelboats and other both windsurf and kitesurf racers
(Also having a long history of dinghy racing behind me)