Ericsons generally have a great reputation - several friends have or have had various models and they are all seem like pretty nice boats with satisfied owners.
A boat said to be "tender" is one that tends to heel easily (ie lean over in a lightish breeze) Some such boats heel easily initially but tend to 'firm up' as their ballast comes into play. Whether the E28 is, in fact, a 'tender' boat I couldn't say. A tender boat can be manageable, you simply need to reef a bit earlier perhaps than someone else.
A painted mast is most likely to be a two part paint, but not necessarily epoxy.. it could also be a Polyurethane.
Here's a link to some downloadable literature:
Links, Resources & Downloads - E28_Documents - EY.o Information Exchange