Just got back from a 2 week bareboat charter of a SO 36i in Corsica and will have notes / comments tomorrow. Needless to say, everything you mentioned above is a must for someone that want's to have "fun" sailing one of these things.
And please compare it with the Benetau oceanis 36 that you have sailed some time back.
Regarding performance and sail boats the problem is that performance is expensive and small differences in speed cost a lot of money. But you are right more important than speed is the feeling and the fun, they are priceless
Some years back I found a French Benetau dealer that was willing to modify an Oceanis Benetau 36 to make it a performance boat (on the lines of what Marty says). He had taken notes and made me an offer: it was ridiculous expensive
The boat was not an inexpensive boat anymore but an expensive boat, as expensive as other performance boats and off course, with a much bigger devaluation as a used boat. That's the problem...