I believe Al's response above is absolutely correct. You have to be honest in how you are going to use it first.
Second if you only read the threads on here you will probably never buy a MH because people talk about all the problems but not about all the success or great times!
I am an engineer so I know about what you mean about looking at data but the best thing is to actually go and look at them. We found a dealer that actually had all the doors open on their MH's and we just went from one to the other looking at layouts and workmanship without a salesman hovering over us.
I originally wanted a diesel but I also knew I wanted bunk beds since we have a 6 year old. When he goes to bed we wanted to use the living area without worrying about waking him up or him sleeping on the couch right where we wanted to be at night. Since last year diesels and bunk beds were hard to find (of course the Forza came out this year with them) we went for the Vista 35B and absolutely love it. I have owned 2 other gassers already and had no problems so a third didn't bother me. Plus you can spend at least 50K and more for a diesel and that can buy a lot of gas!!
Sure the Vista isn't the most luxurious thing out there and you can see where they saved on money to make it reasonably priced for a MH but we liked the unit and except for a washer/dryer and a fireplace it has everything you could want or need. And yes the 1 1/2 bathrooms is a must especially when travelling with your better half!!!!!!
Then came about how we were going to use it. I am away from home a bit for work so we have it set up at a campground about 30 minutes from home and my wife and son use it all the time when I am away. It made more sense then it sitting in the driveway. When I am home we camp there plus make short trips for weekends ( a few hundred mile round trips) and maybe once a year a longer trip. So for us a gasser was just fine.
I guess I am kind of telling you all this because I am trying to reinforce how important it is to be honest to yourself on HOW you will use it. Everyone says oh I want it to tour the country but what is the percentage that really do?
Unless you go full time of course which is a different story. Then I would go diesel too. Which is more than likely what we will do when our son gets older and I retire.
Then it is a matter of personal taste and what you can afford. When looking at MH's don't forget to look at older ones. Doesn't matter if they are 2 or 10 years old you can get a glimpse on how a particular brand holds up or lasts. Too be honest that is what had me buy the Winnie over the Thor.
Sorry I might have went on a bit long here but I think you get what I am saying.
One other thing lol. Doesn't matter if you pay a million dollars for one make sure you have some extra money to outfit it!!! Can't have them old lounge chairs with a brand new RV now can you!
Well that is what I told the wife at least......