AIREs are definitely the winner in ease of repair. However, for me, repairs are so rare that I don't consider it to be a huge factor in my boat purchase decision. Over the last two years, I've witnessed/helped with two on-river repairs - both on the Middle Fork Salmon. The aire was a big tear, but it was good as new in 20 minutes. The other boat was a JPW, similar to the repair duties a Sotar would required. It also took about 20 minutes - but it was in a much easier place to access and only required a small patch. Other than those 2 repairs, I've only personally had to deal with one other patch in 20 years of boating.
I have, however, had to lift countless boats to and from trailers, rivers, ramps, portages, shores, etc. So, for me, weight is a more important feature than ease of repair. I may not be packing my boat miles to a put-in - but simply being able to double stack two sotars on my trailer without help, or getting my boat from my campsite at wilderness gateway to the river's edge, without any help, for a lochsa run comes in more handy that you might imagine. Oh, and when I flipped in Lochsa Falls at 8.5' this year, my reflip was the fastest and easiest I've ever done. There are two reasons for that - my boat is light and my frame is easy to grab onto when I go over.
I remember in 2008 - I was at the lochsa helping a bunch of Sotars unload from a trailer. It was at that moment that I decided it was time to sell my AIREs and get Sotars.
As for the design - you're right - Mark Cramer did work with AIRE through several prototypes to get the current Wave Destroyer design. But guess what he ran before the WD - a Legend. He basically had AIRE help him design a boat "like" the Legend - I believe he received some help from AIRE for heli support and maybe free boats to help him with his triple crown attempts. (I can't remember the names of those rivers...) They will probably handle very similarly in the water, and they are both good boats. The Legend was designed by Ted Day - he ordered boats for people with his design often enough that Sotar eventually just named it the Legend to make orders easier to process. They added it to their price sheet this year, it was previously a special order item. At least - that is my understanding of the history of the Legend - I probably don't know all the details. Their website is lame, but if you download the retail price sheet, the Legends are listed there.
mttodd - my original post made it sound like I'm a total maravia hater. I'm not really. I hope you didn't take that personally. I've just had a friend have a bad experience - but I have several other friends that run maravias that have no problems. I think their raft designs are leading the industry. There is video of some guys R3'ing the NF Payette in a maravia with really high kick at the ends. That boat looks amazing in class V water. I'd own that boat!
I don't know about everyone else, but I'm bored at work and don't have much to do. So, I'm going through my youtube channel to watch a bunch of rafting vids in my favorites - check it out:
YouTube - jmcdannel's Channel
I think the clip of Mark Kramer running Big Falls is there somewhere.