This info is extremely helpful, thanks for the knowledge! I'm going to bag the older/ cheap raft and keep searching for a good deal. The Storm and Striker look like great boats but once I get a few add-ons and a trailer I better be catching fish...for survival purposes.
I found this Creek Company XR12 for under 1k that is looking pretty appealing: The Creek Company :: Pontoon Boats :: #950 - ODC XR 12
I can throw it in the back of the truck, store it in the house, etc.
I will be fishing slower sections of the Ark, Colorado, Roaring Fork, Yampa, with some lake fishing as well.
Thanks again for guiding me through this!