Congratulations on making plans to live your dreams. AND for gaining some insight from others.
I am in complete agreement with the other posters above. 43ft can be a lot of boat. There is a very interesting web site the has the logs of a gentleman who is single handing a 70''s vintage 44ft Gulfstar. It is very very interesting reading. The boat lacks most of the comfort and quality he was originally looking for. He got a lot of advice to stay small, but in the end went for the largest boat he could afford. For the price he could have paid for a high quality, newer, better shape 38, he bought a questionable, older 44. His logs chronical a long, awful journey through fixing and replacing everything onboard, very tough sailing (mostly motoring) and aches and pains from handling a boat that big...especially the daily nightmares he has anchoring.
In my personal search for the perfect boat for me...my basic goal was getting a well found, bluewater boat that would be a good boat single handed. I looked up to 43 ft and also settled on a top notch 38. Glad I did. I have the wonderful company of a female friend aboard frequently and find that many people who lack the strength and experience I have, can have a tough time with this boat (at 22,000 lbs, it is a big 38). Imagine how they would do on a larger, heavier boat.
That said. LOA has really nothing to do with how comfortable a boat is or how tough it is to sail. It really has more to do with displacement. (cabin layout is better gauged by displ and LWL).
The lure of a large yacht is great. There is no doubt. I STILL lust after some nice larger boats. I have no doubt I could handle them (but certain I cannot afford them
. But....smaller or at least the right size, IS better. Better to have a high quality boat, that is NOT a money pit, where everything is more easily done and the gear does NOT cost an arm and a leg, than any other larger boat afloat. If I had a sailing partner who was fairly strong and very skilled, AND would share the extra cost, I might have gone to 42. But....if you anticipate single handing or having inexperienced crew....best to have a high quality boat that can be more easily handled.
Hope this helps
Wauquiez Hood 38