I have spent a lot of time on 40.7's and I really love these boats. They are fast and easy to handle. They have a simple but very workable interior layout. They offer comfortable berths and great ventilation.
They are a little dated as race boats but the boat that I am on has won at least its class all kinds or major events, (Key West, Chesapeake NOODs, Carribean Ocean Racing triangle, Block Island etc.) and is still competitive.
I would think that they are a nearly ideal cruising boat for the Med, easily handling the transitions between heavy and light air very well. The boat that I sail on is six years old and has held up well after over 10,000 miles short-handed offshore and a bunch of hard racing.
What makes the boat work as a short-handed cruiser is its ability to sail with a #3 and mainsail in a very wide range of conditions. That said, I would want to make sure that you set up the cunningham to handle the first reef so that you can reef on the fly from the cockpit on the fly. Another nice feature of these boats is that they sail reasonably well under mainsail alone which is nice for shortacking short-handed.
The traveler in the cockpit just is not an issue, and is really ideal for short handed cruising, placing the mainsheet right at the helmsman.
The 2:1 mainsheet is nice for racing but perhaps less than perfect for a cruising boat.
If you are not sure about chosing between a Bene 40.7 and a Hallberg Rassy 34.2, I think you need to take more time, and sail on a bunch of boats, so that you can define your specific sailing tastes and goals. These are such extremely different boats. One thing that has impressed me with the 40.7's is how well they have held their prices, with nearly no depreciation and relatively quick sales so if you made a mistake you should be able to easily resell. I don't know if that is as true with the Hallberg R which is a bit of a niche market boat over here.