I think that's probably the best thing to do, RPTheLefty. Even experienced RC pilots have had death spirals with the Merlin. Definitely not a beginners plane.
The Bixler looks like a good choice. Maybe just beef up the spar, as mentioned in a lot of the reviews. It shouldn't be too hard to do:
I have an EasyStar, which is similar, plus I've fitted ailerons to mine, so it's even more similar. The trick in launching it is to use about 2/3 throttle and throw it level, or in a very slight dive, not up at an angle. Don't worry about it heading for the ground. It's picking up enough airspeed to fly properly by doing that. Just pull up gently before it hits.
If you give it too much throttle on the launch, the thrust angle pushes the nose down too much, making it harder to pull up. If you throw any plane up above horizontal, it loses air speed as it leaves your hand and risks stalling. Not good. People who fly 3D planes with huge thrust to weight ratios can get away with it but it's generally a bad idea.