It is more than just can it make there and back - although it should be the overall deciding factor.
You also have to consider the fact you'll actually be living on it for some extended period of time (most of the time). Finding the perfect blend for you will not be easy...Kinda like RVs and SUVs. Some have the looks, the capability, and livability (function as for example = when not sailing)...Storage and how you'll use it and what you have to compensate for coupled with lifestyle habits.
- Bigger is not always better it is how space is used and how functional it is.
- Seaworthiness is defined by understanding the worst qualities of what you sail and adjusting thereof.
- Popularity of a item is determined by either fad or it works as advertised and to the customers expectations.
Bennies are actually nice boats, have helmed one and the amenities are nice and for coastal cruising I could see myself owning one. First appearances can be deceiving however. Sometimes simplicity is the order of the day, but when you are distant from a dealer, yard etc, you do have to think about what it is you are capable of handling on your own when the crap hits the fan.
Been many discussions like this on Sailnet over the years - in my reading of it all - it is up to the individual to determine if a production boat brand lives up to it - everyone's sailing style and habits are different. There is no one all answer - and like all these threads of related topics - really determined on the combination of concerns I listed above.
Personally, I went for a European designed boat - as it mimicked alot of features I have with an Airstream. But, that decision was made due to my selective process and certainly wouldn't work for many others. Production boats have the semblance of customer confidence that when it goes wrong you have someone to call. Once you are out 100 miles out or outside the United States - the rules change quick...