Good point Tod -
This is really at the core of my questions. I have a canoe, a rowing dory, and a W/W raft. The canoe is awesome for ponds and lakes, the dory a bit more versatile with a trolling motor and oars also very good in a moderate river current, and the bronco a real big river vehicle. When I lived out west it was my escape pod into the gorge where there were no people and lots of steelhead.
Out here, what I am finding I don't have is the ability to defy the current and go in the direction I need to go. I watch people in yaks glide against the current until they are out of sight, something I could never do with the tools I have now. Of course a 16 foot aluminum vee with a nice motor would solve all that, but at one tenth to one twentieth the cost the kayak strikes me as the way I can defy the tides at least until my kids are done with college.
That, in a nutshell, is my attraction to yaks - the ability to travel against the tide.