Here is the thing, with boats there are no silver bullets or always true statements. Like most things about boats every decision is a compromise.
Not all Beneteaus have iron keels
Not all Beneteaus with iron keels have easily replaceable keel bolts.
Iron keels typically come with some mix of less stability, poorer motion comfort and/or poorer sailing performance.
Not all lead keels have J-Bolts
Not all boats with lead Keels and J-bolts have keel bolts that are hard to replace. (You drill new holes and nut pockets just the way lead keels were built before J-bolts were invented, and if you go back with Monel nuts and bolts you will never have to replace them again)
Boats with iron keels that may have steel keel bolts that may be easier and cheaper to replace, typically need their keel
bolts replaced on a more frequent basis (10-to 15 years) vs lead keels with stainless steel bolts(25 to 40 years)
Boats with lead keels and monel keel bolts, pretty much never need their keel bolts replaced.
Head spinning, can't think, where did I leave my beer? Was it monel keel with lead bolts or was it lead keel with candy canes? Has anybody seen the door? That light at the end of the tunnel is starting to look like an encapsulated lead keel again. There I was shopping for a Beneteau and now I am back to a Cal34. The one thing I really want to avoid is manufactured obsolescence. Repair-ability is as important to me as functionality. Forget the keel, I'm gonna buy a Corsair Marine F27 trimaran!
I'm sorry, but it's nutzo to block out the world's largest producer of boats because you have heard some story from - not even a friend but - an acquaintance.
An oyster sank when it's keel fell off. Wipe all Oysters off the list?
Catalinas have sunk. Wipe them out?
Hunters sink. Chop them off?
Cape Dories have caught fire... Scrap them?
What vehicle do you drive? Power steering can fail so do you only drive a vehicle without power steering?
Your fears do not stack up against any risk analysis. Look for a boat you and your family will like to be aboard and have family fun time.
BTW I can not see family fun time including a narrow boat parked in the back yard.
Sorry to be critical.
I certainly did not mean to suggest that you should rule out Beneteaus, or boats with bolt on keels. My main points were mostly that almost every decision that can be made in designing a boat involves trade offs, each with advantages and liabilities.
And that in choosing between one design element and another, there is a tendency to try to generalize and make a decision based on that generality. While that might seem to simplify the selection process, it does not necessarily achieve the desired goal. And just when you decide that you won't generalize, it turns out that some generalities are almost always true, (for example long overhangs do nothing good for a boat but do tend to result in a lot of negatives.
And that when you get into fairly specific details of boat building, you need to look at the specifics of how that detail was done on that specific boat and the condition it is in on that specific boat.
And that the court of public opinion is often based on outdated ideas or ideas that are loosely typically true, but which may not apply in the case of the specific boat in question. (For example, people often suggest that a boat buyer rely on the Capsize Screen Formula or the Motion Comfort Index. These surrogate formulas were developed before the last 40 years of scientific research and are so over-simplified that neither formula contains any of the major factors which actually control the likelihood of a capsize or how comfortable a boat's motion actually is)
I was also reacting to your list of boats, and the extreme range of sailing ability, seaworthiness, motion comfort, build quality, accommodations, ease of handling, etc. characteristics exhibited by a list that includes a Cal34, Pearson 35 and Vanguard, Alberg 35, Ericson 35, and a Ranger 33. If these were aircraft you would be looking at everything from a Wright Bi-plane to a P-51 Mustang.
Anyway that was all I was trying to say.
Seaward 32 RK.. and you can launch it and retrieve it yourself, can use a motorboat trailer, and step the mast yourself.
What did I win?
Oh so close...You just missed one part of the question, "I have a $35,000 budget" Monty, Please tell him what he would have won.......