Jeff H....I need a little of your knowledge.
Opinion''s differ, but I have found the book "Practical Boat Buying", from he Practical Sailor, to be helpful. They tend to favor the heavy, solid glass boats that I like (and other''s may not). Their opinions on boats can be at odds with many other''s (they love the C&C Landfall 38 and cannot come to many conclusions about Endeavour and Irwin), so I think most people would advise taking the opinions with a grain of salt.
Their opinions aside, I find that it is the only compendium where I can find objective data on boats, such as hull construction, hull to deck joint construction, price trending, layouts etc. Its available at Amazon.
I don''t think its the last word on boats, but I do think its a good place to start and a good reference... if you use it as a reference and ignore the editorial comments (not all but some). I am glad that I have the latest 2 vol set.
Just my personal opinion.
best of luck.