Thanks, Brian and Tommays,
I agree that I am trying to find one boat to do more than it is optimum for: I suspect that most of these boats are probably best for club races and short cruises (in and around Chesapeake Bay and Delmarva Peninsula for me). For now, I am considering a good racer (around-the-buoy and up and down the Bay) and seeing how far I can take it in terms of my racing and cruising skills with one of these racer/cruisers. At this point in my search, my main concern is the boat's ability to weather tough situations if I should encounter one and whether there are known problems common to a particular boat. In particular, I'd like to know what it takes to overcome the Farr 395 hull problem and if the typical fixes are adequate. Any information and thoughts on that would be appreciated.
I will certainly look into Henderson 30 (I don't think I have seen one here) and into J/109's hull problems. (I hadn't heard that before -- I would have thought JBoats would have fixed that type of problems after the J/120s).
Yes, it would be hard to judge the relative speed if the crew work is uneven. It's hard to sail a boat to its numbers, but if everyone did, Farr 395 might be a bit faster on flat waters than J/120 and vice versa in heavier seas, from the weight differentials and somewhat different hull shapes, etc.