I am also researching boats, trying to narrow a huge list down to something manageable. I wouldn't consider myself knowledgeable enough to make any specific reccommendations but I started by downloading a couple of different lists of boats that have been proven or are considered suitable for ocean passages. I then reviewed each boat, comparing it to my list of "must have", deciding whether or not I liked the looks, and discarding the boats that could not pass those two parameters.
It seems, in my case anyway, that almost all the boats that passed the test so far are heavy displacement boats. According to much of the references I've read concerning each, they tend to perform on the poor side in light winds but shrug off most heavy weather. I'm looking at something from 36' to 40' with a either a full or cruising keel with skeg mounted rudder. Here is my list so far.
Cabo Rico 36, 38
Cape George Cutter 38
Morris 38, 42
Pacific Seacraft 37
Southern Cross 39, 42
Valiant 37, 39, 42 Major blister problems on Valiant 40 hull numbers
116 250. No problems with any of the excellent Texas built boats.
Westsail 32, 42
Of course, like you probably are, I'm open to suggestions. Several of these boats are either rare finds or probably out of my price range but maybe my list will spur some ideas that will work for you. A search for recommended blue water boats may turn up more. I do suggest writing down a list of what features you require in a boat and where you plan to sail so you have well defined requirements to refer to.
Hope this helps. Good luck with your search.