Looks like Brian and I were typing similar answers at the same time too!
Also, do not quote me on this, as I recall, smacky, didn't you want this to include "current" produce boats vs non current or out of production, closed shop boats. Hence an O'day would NOT be listed, nor a cal, ranger, and maybe for that matter, even my 25yr old Jeanneau?!?!?! that was built two bk's ago, ie bangor punta to someone in france to IIRC when group Beneteau bought them. Logo changed between BP owner ship and the french group too, starting the "Sun _______" named boats, be them sun shine, sun fiz, odysess etc.
Okay...ground rules...how about this...
Go to Yachtworld and search for boats 1984 and newer between $25K and $120K, 35'-45'...all over the world. Let's keep it in a 25 year range and this price limit.**
Rate these boats that turn up.
The reason I say this is my hunch is that most of us average schmos will be looking at boats in that range. The issue is that there is so little good info out there on how to judge them.
So - it would be cool to have some kind of general ranking...still in production or not. We're not talking new boats here. We're talking used - which is the majority of the market. Even so, the reasons behind the ratings will give everyone a better idea on how to judge even the newer boats.
For example, the Bene O38 story gave me a new insight on how to think about production boats in light of their angle of vanishing stability, etc.
**PS - I'm not shopping personally. I am into the charter thing. But I was looking last year and had a hard time figuring out what was a "good boat" for robust coastal cruising and what was not.