buying first boat
Let me admit my bias towards the (my) Wauquiez and lack of experience with the LH up front.
The Bristol 38.8 and Little Harbor 38 (Ted Hood''s own company) both have PHRF''s of 126 whereas the Wauquiez Hood 38 is 129 (NE PHRF). Don''t know much about the Little Harbor but the Bristol is a bit lighter has a few more inches of beam. All the info I have read on the three boats has stated that they are essentially the same below the water line.
The Hood 38''s all have a reputation for being good in light air. I have found that to be true of my boat (a Wauquiez Hood 38). I understand this was a specific Ted Hood goal in designing the boat. I could not be more pleased with mine. I personally do not see any reason why the Bristol goes for more money. I think it is just paying for the Bristol name and cost of an American build. The Wauquiez boats are slightly better priced because when they first were sold the dollar was very strong against the Franc. Unfortunately, it is difficult to find a Mark II ver of the Wauquiez w/o the teak deck.
As for quality, I cannot imagine that the Bristol or Little Harbor 38''s could be of any significantly greater quality than the Wauquiez. If they are, they certainly must be at least roughly equivalent to each other. The Wauquiez Hood 38 has beautiful and very nicely finished joinery below and carries excellent hardware. Some of it IS French, if that is an issue. I personally prefer the layout of the Wauquiez. They layouts of the Bristol 38.8 and Little Harbor Hood 38 that I have seen show straight settee''s in the saloon and a simple qtr berth aft - simply Yacht 101 design. The Wauquiez has a private aft qtr cabin with quite a lot of elbow room. The saloon has a C shaped dinette which, in my view, lends more livability to the boat. Don''t know about the Bristol or LH but the Vee berth on the Wauquiez is huge.
Hope this helps.