Greg it is not an assumption it is a fact: the budget available conditions the choice of the boat. It may not apply to you and I was not thinking in you specifically, but it conditions me and almost all of us. Unlike you most of us cannot afford to pay a million USD for a sailboat not to mention maintenance and the big berthing fees of a big boat.
I would like to point out that of the about 15+ boats that departed the San Francisco Bay when we did, for “long term” cruising, we are the the smallest boat, AND we are the ONLY boat still actively cruising. Of the rest, two couples are still living aboard in a Mexico marina and have not sailed in years. The rest, gave up cruising, sold the boats and are now CLODs (Cruisers Living On Dirt). ALL of the boats I cite were fitted out with the best that could be offered in 2004. What is state of the art today, is obsolete next week, some times tomorrow!
I can't believe people NEED a new phone every year!
I do not attribute us still cruising to anything special about us. I do think it has a lot do with how hard/easy it is to maintain and actively cruise a larger boat. Of the breakdowns, and we had a couple, we were FAR less impacted than the larger boats...... That is, we cruised more for less maintenance.
During 4 years in the Sea of Cortez, we were offered 3 times to trade our boat, straight across, for boats in the 41 to 45 foot range. And they were NOT trash boats!
Of a lot of active cruisers I know, we are NOT unique in cruising on boats far smaller than could be bought by the people cruising them.
I DO agree that many people run out, sell the house and purchase the biggest boat they can. I would also submit that all of those that we met along the way (MANY) gave up cruising in short order!
I am always sad for those that go that route. Not for the loss of money, but for the dreams that go unfulfilled.
That said, in my line of work, when I was working, a “fact” was universally true. As you have said that Jill and I (along with others we know) do not fit your "fact", I submit it is only an assumption.