I've been giving this question a lot of thought and I've come to the conclusion, there's really no good choice other than a Pacific Seacraft
. . . . Actually, a few thoughts pertaining to various earlier posts . . .
1. New to Sailnet - Welcome!
2. Lack of a forward bulkhead on a PSC31 - Creates a very spacious open look and feel - I've only ever heard PSC31 owners say good things about this interior design
3. Single-handing a PSC 34 is very manageable
4. I totally agree with WMJR . . . "As everyone knows, every boat is a trade-off but being in love with what you are sailing is worth more than [any] other factor."
5. Of course Jeff's right - PSCs are not the optimal boats to learn sailing on; I still agree with WMJR though
6. Tiller vs. Steering Wheel - A "religious" matter with many pros/cons either way- Lot's of other posts on this topic on Sailnet
7. My slip neighbor has an IP35; we've compared notes a bit between his boat and my PSC 34 - my conclusions (maybe not his): both are good offshore boats, IP is a little better at the dock, PSC is a little better with sailing performance. . . . Another related "religious" issue - encapsulated vs. bolted on keels - lots of other posts on this topic as well
8. Other boats of interest . . . . Shannon, Valiant, Hans Christian, Cape Dorys, etc. - Perhaps these appeal to those of us who appreciate a touch of the traditional look, and those who'd be willing to pay more for a solid high quality build while perhaps giving up some on the performance side. Those who put the emphasis on higher performance or more features-per-dollar certainly make good counter-arguments as well.
9. Sailing up to the dock - Work toward that level of skill; don't get rid of the engine nonetheless. Getting involved in racing can be a good way to fine-tune sailing skills, provided the captain allows you try out different tasks with some frequency. You might need to find a little more casual racing club rather than sailing with the highly competitive types though (else you're likely to just be rail meat
10. Recommendation: PSCs hold their value well - buy now in this down economy, try it for a while and if you're not 100% convinced, sell when the economy rebounds! You could actually make a decent profit! (well, maybe not . . . but why would anyone really sell a PSC anyway?) Enough dreaming and analyzing! On with it my good man!