I've got to side with the Catalina camp. Full disclosure, I've got a C36, but I considered trading it in for a new Hunter 36 a couple years ago. I didn't end up doing it, but I did learn a lot about Hunter's build process/quality. I think production yacht quality these days is a lot like the automotive industry. Modern production techniques have taken a lot of the variables in quality out of the picture, and for the most part there aren't any huge differences between the two which is why the C36 v H36 debate continues unabated (kind of like the "best anchor" debate).
Having said that, I'm personally not a fan of cored hulls, I like stays holding up my rig, even if Hunter's B&R rig is perfectly capable of withstanding worse conditions than we are likely to encounter ( Somebody got caught on the outside
), and I am not a fan of veneered bulkheads (what happens if you scratch one? You can't sand it out).
I do think Catalina's stand up to wear and tear over years of use better than Hunters. Consider my super-accurate, scientifically derived stats from Yachtworld:
1991-1993 Catalina 36 average list price $66,500
1991-1993 Hunter 36 average list price $59,000
At the end of the day, it's personal preference. Back in my Army days, there were a lot of similar debates in flight school over which airframe was better. Like this debate, there was never a consensus, and it was always a pretty polarizing discussion; but when it was all said and done I had never met an aviator who disliked the airframe they were eventually given.
Go with what feels right, and get out on the water. Most importantly let us know what you decide (extra points for pics).