I too, spent a whole summer paddling different boats before deciding on which one to purchase. As a small padder (5'5, 120lbs), this boat was hands down my favorite. It handled great in the chop, and I found it much easier to turn and manover than all the other boats I paddled. I particularly like that it has a lower deck, as all the other boats felt higher and I found I would tire quickly in them (also the other boats felt quite boxy). I went on to purchase this boat and it has served me very well kayaking large open water, smaller lakes, overnight trips, some rivers and even a couple municipal drainage ditches. The only thing that I wish was better was that I had better strength to get it up on my car and through portages (but thats just me- the girly twiggy arms get me every time). I have also lent this boat out to friends for weekend kayaking trips where it has been paddled by a 10year old boy to a 50 year old female. Everyone still loves this boat.
I would highly recommend this boat- and even if sometime I saved enough cash to buy a kevlar boat or something of that type, this boat will without a doubt sill remain in my collection.