I think for a step up, a full metal is over-kill unless it’s in the affordable range.(say, dv888 pricing or below). My lack of familiarity with all models limits my knowledge. I don’t see anything wrong with a full plastic or a metal/plastic yoyo, which is an ideal upgrade. The key here is the ability to bind.
While I still stand behind my recommendation of the DM2, the Legacy II is a fine step up. Why? The two bearings, one responsive(slim) and one unresponsive(full width C bearing) and is a great deal for the price. But if one knows how to bind or is willing to learn to bind upon receiving their new unresponsive yoyo, then a whole lot of other options open up, including many affordable options. The Protostar or Northstar are good choices, but you have to know how to bind or be willing to learn it. This willingness to learn to bind opens up many options including many MONEY saving options. Nothing wrong with the ONE packaged with 2 bearings, which is being marketed to beginners, or the unresponsive WHIP for the same price. However, I find most purchases and users of these are not beginners but people looking for something else to challenge themselves with. For $10 each, it’s a good deal.
As far as the “need” for a ball bearing, I think that’s rather self evident. Sure, why not drop back to fixed axle… Learn to throw that thing like a one-armed monster! But in all seriousness, ball bearing is the way to go these days. We can go the want/need argument all day long, but that’s how people are playing these days. If one wants to go backwards for challenge purposes, do whatever you want later on.
Of course, the advise to stay within budget is smart. DO factor in a 100-count of strings, say, either YYE Slick6 orYYE 100% poly strings. It makes more sense to buy strings with the yoyo since you’re already buying stuff, it’s just another item that can be placed in the box. Also, get some YYJ thin lube. Again, if you’re buying, this is the time to stock up on these low-cost essentials. Maybe a spare set of responses as well although honestly unless you’re using a Duncan friction sticker, they should last several months. But my logic behind buying lube and responses now, as well as strings is that you’re already going to have to pay for shipping, so why not load that box down a bit and not have to pay extra for shipping these small items later. I almost always buy some small items with an order of something bigger(say, a yoyo) since I’m already paying for shipping. What I typically do is use it as an excuse to buy another 100-count of strings even if I’m OK, and maybe a couple of response replcaements. Shipping should be around $5-6 for Priority Mail here, which is fine. However, do realize my suggestion to buy bulk string, response replacements AND lube is going to add anywhere from $20-25 to your order. It may sound silly to buy a yoyo in the $25 range and then buy $25 in accessory items, but you save on shipping later on when you’d have to order the stuff anyways later on when your strings wear out and need replacing.
Going back to the yoyo itself:
There’s no definitive right answer… There are some oriented for beginners, some oriented for beginners to advanced, some for intermediate and some for advanced, and any variations of those sort of combinations.
Regarding your choice of the Whip:
I have one, I like it, it’s tons of fun. Some people say it kinda flakes out on longer tricks, but you’re not there yet, so don’t worry about it. The money you save on this yoyo now means you can keep practicing, advancing and learning while you research your next yoyo. Yes, your next yoyo. But that’s OK, you can aim at lower price breaks such as the Protostar or Northstar in the $35 range, OR you can maybe shoot to some of the more affordable full metals. Regardless of your choice, you’re going to want something else down the line anyways, it’s just one of the facts of life surrounding yoyo.