Thanks for all the quick responses. Definitely some good info.
Incidentally, I just ordered a copy of "Seaworthy Offshore Sailboat: A Guide to Essential Features, Handling, and Gear" by John Vigor. So hopefully there's some decent information in there as well.
This is a *great* book, and you should find it very helpful. Vigor also wrote a book titled something along the lines of Twenty Small Boats to Take you Anywhere that describes 20 bluewater boats up to around 32' or so. The list is, of course, not a definitive one, but it would give you a good idea of what features to look for.