HJ, I now own both an AI and a Sea Pearl, so I can compare those two boats. The AI is a 2010 and Pearl is a 1990. I had waited a long time and went through several other used sailboats before finding an acceptably priced Pearl.
The boats actually sail pretty similarly. Neither sails well much closer than 70 degrees off the wind. Both sail well on beam and broad reaches. The Pearl sails better on a run. The AI may be a bit faster, but once you are going over 6 knots, it's a pretty wet and uncomfortable ride.
Personally, I prefer sailing the Pearl. I also like camping on the Pearl. I have contemplated selling the AI, but, anytime I think about throwing away a big percentage of my investment in the boat, I start thinking about how nice it is to have a car topper that takes up little space in the garage and can also serve well in kayak mode. - no need for an engine - no need for registration, etc. A big attraction for me, due to an old neck injury making swinging a kayak paddle for long periods painful, was the peddle drive.
I like the feeling of a stout boat around me when gliding through the water, and I like being able to get up and move around the boat. There's a certain feeling you get from being protected by a boat on the water that you don't get so much when sitting with you butt below water level and in a puddle. Kayaks are more with the water than on the water. It's a different feeling and satisfying in it's own right.
I'm not trying to run down the Hobie, and I'm not averse to kayaking. I am a long time sea kayaker, white water kayaker and surf kayaker, and, despite some physical limitations, still do all of the above. I like both boats, but for very different reasons. Maybe you could find a used AI and a used SP and have the best of both worlds. I say AI, because you probably wouldn't want two trailerable boats.
You've got a lot of nice areas to explore around Tallahassee and I think you would enjoy either or both boats.
Here's a little clip of a recent sail on the SPhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5BGSL4rsoRE