My thoughts on the L Karnali vs L Burn that it:
-Feels slightly smaller and lower volume
-Turns easier and is a bit more stable
Wow, we have different thoughts on this. The "feels slightly smaller and lower volume" is only in relation to the modern/updated Burn I believe. If you are use to the original L Burn, then the L Karnali will feel bigger. (We've owned and paddled all three boats).
IMO, the Karnali holds a line better, and is harder to turn for last moment corrections... whereas the Burn turns all the freaking time, yet can perform the ever elusive and badass, high performance downstream carve, and can make corrections anywhere and everywhere.
Although I disagree with the wording (and performance), I know exactly what you are saying about the Karnali feeling like a "lower performance boat." My biggest complaint about the Karnali was that I literally stopped flipping for most of a season, and it freaked me out. It is so stable, that I too thought I just wasn't as sporty... so I told Tina to buy a Karnali and I bought the 2nd edition Large Burn and consequently started hitting my regular roll ratio again with a much edgier (aka high performance) boat. I love the Burn for the carving feel, but honestly, for the average aspiring class V paddler, I think the Karnali is a better boat. It's user friendly.
Thus, the Shiva stole some serious elements from the Karnali. Undecided as to which one of those boats I like more still.