Frankly, every company is producing great boat designs these days. I'd say Jackson pushed performance advances that forced everyone to step up their efforts recently. Now the competition has caught up. Although, Jackson has demonstrated surpeior customer service so far.
That said, while Jackson designs have excelled in performance, I can argue that their cockpit designs have not. It is simple and effective in some of their models, but I personally feel the Hero and Villain cockpits are less desirable than other brands. It is the one area that JK could really improve upon in those two models, in my opinion. I've always really liked Wave Sorts cockpits. Also, LL's new Stomper cockpit looks like it could be dialed in securely.
Also, know that seat positioning on the Hero and Villain are critical and sensitive to find the sweet spot. I have 15 days in my Villain and may just now becoming happy with the cockpit customizing it has taken to make me feel secure and confident (I'll see after testing my laest customizations.). But, while I know the performance design is excellent, the cockpit design nearly had me getting rid of the boat for lack of fitting me securely and comfortably. After much fiddling in forming self-made knee hooks, carving out cups in the thick knee padding, removing the seat pad and adding only a thin foam so I sit lower and knees more vertical for leverage (as opposed to being spread horizontal, geting fatiqued, and having to cram in too tight to try to stay secure ... which I hadn't been.) I may be close to truly appreciating my investment and return to a confident level of boating again. It has been frustring though. That said, boats have always required cusomization to get them just right for me. Once dialed in, all is good.
I see there are several intriguing new models coming out from the various manufactures. I'd say there are many great choices this coming year.
No risk, no reward. It is not that we have to, it is that we get to. Preparation and education are essential to self-confidence and success. - KV
"If there is no risk there is no adventure."- Bill Briggs