Not really “switched” but perhaps “boat-fluid”.
I started with kayaks, any type. Sea kayak first (day play and expeditions) followed by surfski, whitewater (creek, play, DR race), flatwater sprint. Did that for awhile and then had two multi-day trips in canoes, one was flatwater in fast tandems and the other trip was class III whitewater. Came home and excitedly told my wife that “we have to get a canoe!”.
No more WW kayaking, but in our current fleet we have three sea kayaks and five canoes. The canoes include a multi-use solo, a WW tripping canoe, WW play tandem, and his and hers WW solo canoes.
And the old joke works here, that of “why do I have 5 canoes? Because I sold one”. If I could have the funds and space I’d be adding a light tandem flatwater (the one I sold was too heavy), a solo outrigger, and maybe a fast flatwater solo.
We don’t kayak nearly as much compared to just 5 years ago. Partly due to losing paddling partners (we’re all getting older, and an amazing number of old paddling partners who used to paddle class IV/V, or go rock gardening, are now paddling SUP’s, or wasting time playing disc golf). But the major reason for doing more canoeing is age and overuse.
Unless I spend an appropriate amount of time building up specific strength, I’m no longer able to tolerate the sitting position in kayaks for very long. Yet I can get “off the couch” and paddle a canoe for hours on end. Doesn’t matter if I sit 'n switch or kneel, paddling a canoe doesn’t bother my lower back.
I would agree that there’s a possibility of wrist irritation from doing a lot of J-stroke, but also think it is just a statistical possibility. Getting hit by lighting as example. As a retired instructor, I do think that proper mechanics for paddling technique is actually not common, and improper mechanics are one cause of overuse injuries - can’t tell you how many experienced solo WW canoeist I’ve paddled with complain of soreness in the posterior shoulder, and I just want to tell them to re-learn how to move (rotate the torso, don’t let the elbow go past the sideline of the body!).
My opinion is that a pack canoe, sitting in the hull and using a double blade paddler won’t give you the options you seek when compared to kayaking - that’s just a kayak without a closed deck. Using a canoe with an elevated seat, you can sit or kneel. You can shift your weight to one gunwale, you can sit somewhat oblique towards your paddling side…in other words, lots of comfortable options.
As for speed, you might be surprised. A reasonably efficient solo canoe can be propelled fairly close in speed to a touring kayak when using the J-stroke. If using a bent shaft paddle and sit 'n switch, the difference can be come very small or negligible. I also think that the majority of kayakers don’t have very efficient stroke mechanics (a good forward stroke isn’t intuitive), and in comparison the bent shaft canoe paddle is a very efficient and economical stroke and easier to learn.