My wife and I looked at boats for 4 years before we settled on ours - a CS 36T. We considered pilot houses for awhile, but I just didn't like how space was broken up inside them. The boat we bought has the next best thing, a full canvas enclosure. This gives you a bright porch, and extra room, a place to hang wet coats when you arrive home, and a great view to watch the world go buy, regardless of the weather.
It also keeps you reasonably snug when sailing/ motoring in all weather.
For the $$ you spend, CS yachts are one of the best-kept secrets around. Reasonably fast, points well, bluewater capable if you ever decide to go offshore, very high quality construction, lovely bright interior, and holds value very well. There are many more details I could go into, but after looking at tons of boats, this one seemed to offer the most for what we were willing to pay.
BTW, I recently had to replace the stern tube after a prop wrap, and discovered that the hull laminate is 2 inches thick in this area. The composite guy working on it told us how extremely heavy and well-built these boats are, especially compared to the typical production cruiser.
For the same money, I would go for the better built and seaworthy vessel, even if it isn't laid out as an apartment inside. It is a boat after all.