Well I have paddled more sea kayaks than I can even remember, but I have tried to remember the ones that I was impressed with the first time out. One was the Current designs Prana. Then there was the Valley Nordkapp, P&H Cetus, Current Designs Gulfstream , some of the Tide Race boats, the full sized Stellar Intrepid , a few of the Sterling boats. All of these boats felt right and were solid in the stability department, but the boat that I chose for my all around longer distance paddling in variable conditions was a boat that I was not particularly taken by it’s overall feel the first time out.
That boat is the NC Expedition, which took a little getting used to, but this boat is exactly what I was hoping it would be–fast, isn’t bothered by any waves from any angle and it goes where it is pointed. It does take a bit of learning to do a 180, but that is to be expected in a 19’-2" boat. As for stability–as I siid, this boat takes care of that and all you have to do is provide the locomotion.
I should mention that I used to be just a hair short of 6’-3" and 239 lbs, but at 78 I’ve lost a lot of weight and a couple inches.
My best thought is that you can probably get used to almost any boat, but if it is a model that has been around for awhile, it’s probably been thoroughly tested and proven. Lots of time in the saddle under a lot of hairy conditions seems to make a good boat a great boat.