We have friends in the Caribbean on a Bene 36.7.. now this is island hopping, not distance cruising so any shortcomings on tankage and stowage are not such big issues, but the boat spends a lot of time in the trades and some of the inter-island passages can run into big seas. The boat feels really solid in a seaway, handles well and they have had no significant issues with the boat in 8 years now, primarily doublehanded.
I think MikeinLA has laid things out well... and for your intended purposes any of the mainstream brands in that size range will do nicely. I do think Catalina has some great ideas in layout, cockpit and accomodation and on a recent foray through the boat show offerings they clearly had more storage and well-thought-out stowage solutions than Jeanneau and Beneteau in similar size ranges. Catalina also seems to have stayed away from the now trendy 'cats eyes' portlights and swoopy lines that the Euro brands are embracing, and for a quasi-traditionalist like myself they look better to my eye. Others will say that the newer breed will dramatically outperform and they may be right.
My major beef with 'new' boats is the almost automatic inclusion of a furling main, though I was told recently that a conventional main is, in fact, a no-cost option. And then again many who end up with such a setup are quickly 'converts'.
1984 Fast/Nicholson 345 "FastForward"
".. there is much you could do at sea with common sense.. and very little you could do without it.."
Capt G E Ericson (from "The Cruel Sea" by Nicholas Monsarrat)