I live in Alexandria VA and I can tell you that there are growing numbers of AIs/TIs up here on the Potomac. I beleive that the conditions in certain places are contribute heavily to the popularity in certain locations.
I am 32 years old and own an AI, although I will admit that I also own a beach cat, and really only got the AI due to the finiky winds that we get on the river
I was always deciding between the kayayk on a low wind day and the Hobie17 on a big wind day, however it always seemed to die when I got out on the H17 and of course picked up when I went out for a paddle in the kayak. Then I found the AI, and loved that it was comfortable no matter which way the weather turned.
I will admit that in terms of all out sailing, the AI has NOTHING on the Hobie17! (I have yet to find a faster, more fun sailboat to singlehand than the H17, and if I am looking to go sailing that will always be my first choice) However there are times that I can sail the AI that I would never be able to get the H17 out, like in the evenings after work. The H17 still needs a lunch ramp and about 30 mins to rig/unrig, and I'd rather sail a slower boat than not sail at all.
I guess what I'm saying is that the sell for this vessel (AI/TI) would not likely be with younger sailors (they will always prefer the faster more exciting ride) but to younger kayakers and people looking to learn to sail. (I have found it to be one of the easiest platforms to teach somebody to sail for the first time on) I also think the mirage drive is a huge selling point, ESPECIALLY for kayak fisherman. I am often suprised how few people know about the Mirage drives and how amazing they are. They are always very quickly sold on the idea just after a simple description.
P.S. I have been watching your videos for some time now, and that is one of the ways that i first found and fell in love with the AI, so it would seem that you are doing your part at least
I didn't realize that you were in VA though, maybe we could cross paths and sail together some time... (I also windsurf, and think that I saw a video of you out windsurfing somewhere, so that could be a possiblity as well)