I don't want a photo editor
Sorry I am not starting from the beginning. But I do not know why you are discarding something. I am not sure if you are really aware of the differences.
For example. Is Photoshop a good program for digital paint? Of course... Is photoshop a good program for photo editing? Of course... So are you discarding Photoshop just because?
In my opinion, you should focus on what you really want.
designed specifically for digital painting
sounds specific but in reality, it is not.
Here is a similar question regarding free software that can be used for digital paint Free software suggestion use with drawing tablet but almost all of them can be used as a photo editor.
If you really need a program for digital paint, this is "I want a program that can simulate watercolor transparency", or "I want a program that simulates a brushstroke of oily paint", then the list is probably narrowed to some programs.
Corel Painter Is probably the king: https://www.painterartist.com to simulate most of the paint techniques.
Another great option is Rebelle https://www.escapemotions.com/products/rebelle/about?//products/rebelle/index.php
If you realize that you do not need something that specific, then consider the list I linked for free software that can make a good solution in most cases.
(You also need to differentiate if you really meant "Paint" because there are some other software with drawing in mind, for example for manga style)
Regarding the hardware, It is better if you make a systematic search viewing youtube reviews. Start searching some parameters like:
Wacom vs Huion vs XP Pen Artist, which currently are the 3 brands that have some reputation on monitor tablets. Wacom is the most trusted brand and now has some entry-level monitors.
- Look for color rendition