Aft vs. Center Cockpit
I have a Wauquiez Hood 38, and can attest to its excellent construction. I am very pleased with all aspects of this boat and its build.
As for CCs'' v AC''s. I looked at several CC''s in the 40-43ft range, while looking for my boat. I found that - for the most part - the CC was carried down through the cabin and thus that much cabin space was taken away. True, they do generally offer a more spacious aft cabin, but I believe it is at the expense of the main salon. This aspect is really a matter of personal choice. Many people enjoy a larger aft cabin and are willing to trade space for it.
Also, one positive aspect of a CC is in coming into a slip. Since the cockpit is higher and further forward, you have less boat forward when maneuvering and are close to the amidships cleat for catching and attaching a spring line there.
Out sailing, I personally prefer the aft cockpit. You have more protection from breaking waves and less roll. Remember that roll can be significant as we sailors often sail off or abeam to weather.
I did happen to see a Norseman 447 the other day... very very nice boat and, if I had the money, I would love to be looking at the new Wauquiez raised salon 43. (of course if I really had the money I would be looking at a Van de Stadt Samoa 47 ;o) But.... I do love my Hood 38 - I felt the forward cabin was quite large and the rest of the boat very spacious and livable. I also like the aft quarter cabin...makes a great sea berth (unlike a centerline queen found in most large aft cabins).
Hope this helps.