By all means, Wendy, be sure to look at everything that is out there. Try out as many boats as you can, but be aware that what might feel like a great fit at first might not be what you will eventually want. This is where one sometimes has to trust in reading reviews and what your instincts tell you.
Strange Magic likes to rag on me for pushing NC Kayaks and I know I sound like a broken record. Believe me, I have nothing to gain by being an advocate of NC Kayaks. I even told one of the owners that I had very mixed feelings about their boats. They are so good, I wish everyone knew about them, but at the same time I like having such a boat and being a bit unique.
I realize that there is very little chance that you would ever be able to demo an NC, because they do not sell through dealerships. Some people might be suspicious of this. If the boats are so good, why not sell via dealers? My best guess is because they would be too expensive. When they are sold factory direct, there is no dealer markup and thus they can be competitively priced. The builders goal is to make no compromise in building the very best boat possible in their particular niche--which is a fast, stable, lightweight, cruiser. And did I mention, these boats are the best looking boats you will ever see.
If you have any questions at all, I would be very happy to answer. Better yet, give NC a call (888 441 8582) Mon, thru Fri. 8:30-600 Pacific Time. Maybe you'll get a chance to talk to Doug Searles. He can answer any questions you might have.