Horses for courses
Well, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, (I've posted a few times on my feelings about the Valiant 42) if you can stretch a little, try and find a Valiant 42. It is just about perfect. The Swans, C&C's, Tartans in this size range were all of the racer/cruiser type and really not very well set up for short handed cruising. Sure you can do it, but it's not the way they were designed. Best built of that bunch would be the Swans, by a loooooong way over, well, just about everything else. But they may be fairly well used and need a major refit. The IP's are nice boats, but they are a bit slow for my taste. I know you said going fast was not a priority, but it is something to consider. (the Valiant 42 is fast as well as salty) I don't think you will find a Gozzard in your size/price ratio, they are a premium yacht and hold value well. The Pearson 424 is a very nice all around cruiser, something that will get you there in back in one piece. Kelly Peterson 44 is also a great long distance live-a-board that sails well and is well suited for life on board. You didn't say anything about your ultimate intentions, trans global? ocean crossings? plying a particular coast? hanging out in margarita ville with Jimmy B.? Each of those have their own requirements and have an impact on your vessel.