You should read this boat test:
YouTube - Match au sommet voiliers de 40 pieds !
They have made a comparison between a Dufour 40e, an Opium 39 and a Pogo 40 cruising (12.50 prototype). The wind was a good force 5 and the sea had short waves. Close to the wind the speed were the same (7.5), with the Opium (with a worst sail, the original was stolen) making less 5º to the true wind.
They have said that the Dufour is a little better with winds lighter than 20K and the Pogo a bit better over 20k. The Dufour is more comfortable and passes better the short waves, the Pogo passes in power (I believe that is why he needs more wind to be faster than the Dufour).
Downwind the Pogo rules with 12k with the other boats making 8/9K.
Do you have saw that post?
That's about it. I would have made a much better test
, the French are sometimes a bit vague. I would have liked that test to be performed by Yacht magazine (Germans) and we would then have a better and more informative test.
I have already test sailed the Opium 39 and I have loved it. I only did not like the performance under engine, but I think that it would be the same with the Pogo. It has probably to do with the hull shape. As I had loved the Opium speed, the big surprise on that test for me was the Dufour 40e performance. It was really very good, and they say the boat is more comfortable upwind and slightly faster with less wind.
The head sail of the Opium 39 was not appropriated (it was stolen and substituted with an improvised one) and they say that the boat was making less 5º upwind probably on account of that. I believe that with a lot of wind (+20K) the Opium would be faster than the Dufour but with 20K they say they were going the same speed Downwind.
With 20K the Pogo is really faster downwind (about 3 K with 20K wind).
After reading that test and another test between a boat very similar to the Pogo and a J 133, where they concluded that the Pogo like type is only better for long downwind cruising, kind of trade winds, I had asked myself what kind of winds I normally get?
On the Med I have not done a lot of downwind sailing, but I can remember a lot of upwind sailing so I started to look for a fast boat with good downwind performance but mostly with an excellent up wind performance and also one with an outstanding performance in weak wind cause I really don't want to turn the engine on. I have sailed many times with weak winds and with the Bavaria I had to motor a lot. I want also a boat with a comfortable interior one that I can enjoy.
Taking all these in consideration I have decided that for me the Salona 41 was the boat that make more sense. It is faster than the Dufour 40e and after what they say on that comparative test, that's fast enough for me but I guess that with a 2.25m draft it makes no sense to you
But they are all fast boats (those on the test and the Salona) and the Pogo is the fastest downwind no doubt and by a large margin. In the end it is a personal decision that has much to do with what you like. For giving this kind of money for a boat you really have to like it a lot not only in what regards sailing but also in what regards living aboard, and off course, you have to love the way it looks and be proud of it
I have never been inside a cruising Pogo but I think it really is to spartan for me, not for sailing but for living aboard for extended periods. But maybe you are not living aboard much time and that is not much important to you. If I was in your place I would take a look at the interior of an Opium and if you and your wife find it a lot more comfortable than the one from the Pogo and if you think that is important, I would test sail the Opium 39 just to see if it is fast enough and fun enough for you. After all it seems to me that you want a fast boat with small draft and the options are not many