The 1018 is a great boat for the money. It floats high and handles moderate whitewater well. It will also carry a ton if you so desire. Mine was broken in with a guy on the oars, a full coooler of beer and a guy on the cooler for a row across the Deschutes a few years back.
That being said, it is not the equal of the Steelheader or any of the similar priced boats out there. You get what you pay for. For my uses, it works great but if you want a bullet proof boat, step up to the other options.
There is no substitute for time on the water.