In the US and UK you still have a significant design trend for moderate LWL vs. LOA, narrower beam/LOA/LWL ratios, and only moderate transom width. You find few if any true "planing designs". Big premium on the creature comforts under deck leading to higher displacement ratios. That doesn't even include the likes of an IP that is really a design of another age. I'm not suggesting these boats don't work, and I do like the Rustler 42 as an example, but the sailing qualities are overrated for the vast majority of sailing in these parts (and I think on the East coast US as well)
Over here you have a much broader and generally available set of designs where planing hulls, whether aggressive like the Pogo, JPK, Bongo, etc, or the more moderate designs like the First classes, X, Dehler, Comets, ets. The boats typically have a near even LOA/LWL ratio, larger beam/LOA ratio and larger transoms. Displacement is lower but the Keel/ overall Displacement ratio is pretty good. Even the more recent HR's, Najad, etc are following this trend. I won't get into the sail plans and rigging as it really depends on who you buy from but you don't see those big 135% foresails anymore over here.
I tend to find that the argument (at least on these boards) for what's a safe, sturdy well found boat always comes back to some roundabout justification of why the narrower, non-planing, heavy, and non fin-keeled boats are better than the lighter, faster, wider and high keel/disp ratio boats. With todays manufacturing methods and materials there is really no reason to state one is better than another as a fact, just take a look at a Pogo 6.50 on the transat or almost any of the Transquadra boats. Any well manufactured design these days is capable of taking you from A to B in safety. Some may prefer to take longer to get there and there may be greater comfort depending upon the seas and wind, but I do not think one can state that those are the "safer" designs.
And no worries, all boats... well almost, are beautiful so no reason to fight over'em!
Not sure I understand this, and I believe some of your statements are not really right. Like designs that favor creature comforts have higher DL ratios, and US and UK boats make narrower boats that don't carry beam aft (have you seen any recent Hunters, Catalinas, Southerly, Tartan, Moody, etc.?).
That said, is the upshot of your point that you perceive Americans as insisting that only full keel, full skeg, heavy displacement boats are suitable for offshore work? If so, I agree there is a contingent of sailors who hold that opinion, but I don't think it's accurate to say it's limited to Americans. Not by any stretch. If that were true, most of the modern designs wouldn't sell in the U.S., when in fact the opposite is true.
And for what it's worth, in my opinion (which is worth exactly what you've paid for it), the "heavier" boats (for lack of a better characterization) are likely to have a more comfortable motion in sporty seas, but more importantly, they will last a longer time under that level of abuse with far less wear. Once you're into the coastal sailing, live aboard full time cruising use, that distinction becomes less significant (not totally irrelevant, but less significant) simply because you are not putting that type of constant load on the boat the way you are when you are at sea for days on end. And this is not to say that modern production boats can't go to sea, as they certainly can and have. But that doesn't mean you won't be beating the snot out of them. Maybe the best way to describe this is that if you take a Beneteau and a Valiant and sail them offshore regularly, the Beneteau will need a refit and more serious repairs far sooner than will the Valiant, and you may find yourself dealing with breakages underway in the Bene that you might not experience in the Valiant. Now, once you get into the anchorage, the crew on that Valiant will be drooling over the Bene and be begging for an invite.