just wondering why you said 1986 or later and excluded the first year that the P28-2 was in production, 1985
the 1986 (or later) pearson 28-2 provides everything you're looking for. plus, they're incredibly well built, they sail sort of like a pregnant J-24, pretty good for a "standup" cabin and a couple of births, if you want to call them that. it's a two-person weekend coastal cruiser totally single-handable and deceptively fast. sails very well in ghosting conditions and balances nicely on any point of sail. rudder straight ahead, thankyouverymuch, without autopilot.
get the deep-draft version (there were two) --- bill was experimenting with underwater shape for his offshore models. the 28-2 is a very nice, affordable small/big boat. start adding spinnakers and all the other strings we like to pull and you've got a very nice racing platform in phrf competition. heck, with my wife at the helm (a non-sailor) and just me pulling strings, we beat a tartan 37 to the first weather mark in less than 5 knots of air rounding just a few seconds after the first boat, a colgate 26. yes, we went the right direction, but there's no excuse for that. get a 1986 or later pearson 28-2 and forget it. they're great boats at a great price. that's why there kind of rare on the market.
in my opinion, the pearson 28-2 beats the heck out of it's columbia/cal counterpart.