I suggest pacing yourself as you plan your adventure.
I have an off-center fed dipole I have used portable - it does require a matching network to use. There are other antennas to consider, find a ham to help guide you as you work on an antenna. yes many can be home constructed.
If your plan is to learn CW - of course I suggest a QCX+. okay it does feature a cw reader - it is cute - it does not really help you learn CW in my view. just listen and learn is the way to go. cool simple radios thrive in CW.
I like my ubitx. its a v4 - it has been an adventure. some hams around the world have only means to afford a ubitx and they enjoy them. I have an audio filter with my ubitx and it does CW just fine with this item. But I would carefully see where it fits into your plan forward. there are few inexpensive SSB transceivers around that are new.
building stuff is cool - many options already - see my email. unless you have prior building experience, I suggest starting with something simple before starting a QCX+ -- just one error means troubleshooting! my first QCX had one error as I remember (a missed solder joint) - i found it using the test source inside and my finger (and some patience).
patiently examine the landscape to figure out your path forward.