When I got serious about buying a larger RIB, I was really having trouble understanding how on earth a 19'6" boat, motor and engine, could possibly cost $55,000 (10 years ago). In fact, I took a trip to Vancouver and toured the Hurricane plant to try to understand the cost. While I was there, I went whale watching on a 733, and came back absolutely sold that there was NOTHING on the water that could do what that 733 did. (I had a little Mk III RIB at the time, but this big sucker was amazing...)
After a couple of weeks, common sense settled in again. I spent some time with a Whaler dealer and we discussed a 21' Outrage. It was a longer boat than I was considering in a RIB, but in order to get the same interior space, and the same load capablity, I had to go "one size up". The 19' Whaler seemed like a wee toy in comparison.
The Whaler was more expensive, required a bigger engine, weighed about twice what the 590 did, and would have required a massive truck to pull it. (At the time, I was trailing a boat about 4000 km a year, diving all over the Great Lakes...) The Whaler was out of the question, but we went for a test ride anyway. It was a beautiful boat and rode beautifully in a 1 foot chop, but the operating costs and the weight put it beyond me...
A couple of weeks later, I ordered the 590 new, and the next day a used 590 fell into my lap through the same dealer and the rest is history.
Ten years later, as I think back about the 8 -10' waves on Lake Superior in a September gale, or the 5' waves on Lake Erie with a 37 mile run back in broadside to these waves, I have no doubt whatsoever that I made the right decision. As nice a boat as the Whaler was and is, there is NO WAY that I would have made it back in intact in a "real" boat.
If I won a nice phat lottery and budget was no issue at all, and I was to buy a new boat, it would be a 733 with twin engines. And I would have the order placed before I picked up my winnings!