Many good reply's to your inquiry, I don't think anyone is going to tell you what to buy, we are only relating from our own experiences and our own feelings.
When we first moved to south Florida in 2007 (from Chicago) I noticed that there is a kayak or two in almost every other yard down here (we live in Sarasota, FL near the water). I also noticed a great many of those kayaks are never used. Locally you can pick up a used wilderness kayak a couple years old around here for $50 bucks if you ask around, most in this price range are a couple years old, sun faded, and likely scratched up a bit, but they still work.
we don't fish at all but my wife is into Geocaching, which is a worldwide treasure hunt (http://www.geocaching.com
). After moving down here we discovered that many of the geocache treasures are only accessable by kayak, so my wife wanted to buy a couple cheap kayaks that we could use around here (kayaking is a very popular sport in Florida ). I did quite a bit of research on the subject and came to the conclusion that Hobie Kayaks was the only clear choice (we are on our 5th Hobie now). We had rented a couple Wilderness paddle kayaks but were not in the greatest physical shape at the time and only ventured out a short distance from launch and went maybe 1/2 mile before we were tired and wanted to go back. Based on that experience, even if we had purchased a couple cheap kayaks, I know for a fact we would have lost interest very quickly, and my kayaks would be in the yard for a year with a faded for sale sign on them.
However we ended up buying a Hobie Revolution (for her), and a Hobie Oasis (for me). We also bought the sail kits for both boats. I have to tell you this changed our lives, we started to go out kayaking every single weekend, and whenever we traveled we always have the kayaks on the roof (way over 60,000 road miles with kayaks on board since 2007). We take them to colorado, and michigan and run down rapids (not extreme rapids), we go up to the Santa Fe river and kayak up through the springs (really fun), and are now both avid snorkel and scuba divers. We also have a place down in the Keys, and wouldn't think of going without kayaks.
Healthwise I have lost over 50 lbs and am in pretty good shape now, both of us can peddle for 10 hours straight with little effort and have no problems covering 10-20 miles, where with paddle kayak we were tired after 1/2 mile and wanted to go home.
With the mirage pedal drive system and the sail kits we were able to quadruple our range. A couple years ago we upgraded to the Hobie tandem Island ( I am on my 3rd TI now), we even have more interest, and still go out every single weekend, we even use the TI as a scuba diving platform, though we don't fish, we do love to spear fish while diving, catching lobsters is also a blast (when in season of course). When in Kayak only mode the TI is as fast as any other kayak, and just as able, we even run rapids and rivers with the TI's. To this day (5 years later), whenever we plan a trip, we both want to put the boat on the roof (just in case we get a chance to find some water).
Like I said earlier, I'm not trying to convince you to buy anything, I'm just relating what we do, and why.
As far as service and support goes, there is no other company like Hobie.
Our problem is not the cost of the boat, it's the cost of the Yukon Denali cars we put the kayaks on ($60k plus ea), we wore out one Denali already and are way over the miles on the second one looking for fun places to kayak and adventure, but boy do we have a lot of fun doing it. (true story)
To be perfectly honest I would never have imagined in a million years how much fun and enjoying this sport would be. I often have huge fish swim right up to me (the boat is totally silent), as well as dolphins, and manatees.
Hope this helps you