I don't think inboards are unfavorable. I hope to learn how to use one myself by summer on 30-36 footers. It's just not as common for someone to learn sailing on a boat with an inboard. But that's probably because most people can't afford it, not because it's more difficult or not recommended.
It sounded like you may have powerboat experience in those waters already. In that case, you're probably better able to decide than us on that issue anyway.