Longer means you paddle with less effort to glide farther – why wouldn’t you want a more leisurely ride?. Longer kayaks are also easier to load on the roof of your vehicle.
I disagree that a Pungo or Aspire would be much of an “upgrade”. Aspires are clunky and only 10’ long. And a Pungo 12 is still too short for a guy your size.
By the way, the Easky 17 is only 9 pounds heavier than the Pungo 120. In fact, at 58 pounds it weighs THE SAME as the longer Pungo 140 because of the narrower beam. Not to mention that Easky would be $1600 new and has more safety features like dual bulkheads and full deck lines. Probably already sold by now anyway…
Wish you could find a dealer having a demo day. Paddle a 12 foot rec boat and then try a sleek 15’ to 18’ touring kayak and you’ll know why so many of us long time paddlers prefer to go looooong.