I have had Lowrance Plotters and sounders on a few Ribs and to be honest have found them to be great for a few years then they all turn to Shite at once. Just bought a Raymarine C80 that is basically a display unit that you can add anything onto. Only had it fittedfor a few weeks and still awaiting the trasducer for it but up till now it seens like a good unit, although it is quite expensive. Its the first unit that I've had that used the Navitronics Gold charts, the other ones all used Seamap and IMHO the navitronics are a better layout and have clearer information.
As i say its the first Raymarine unit that I;ve had so time will tell, I did however look at a Furuno and Simrad Plotter/Sounder comdination and would have probably bought the Furuno one if it would have fitted into the space as I've had furuno stuff on the charter boat and it's bomb proof, also their wee GP31 Gps was the best.
VHF wise it's got to be Icom or Sailor.
Hard or Soft it's never BIG enough