have cake and eat it too...
Chris...I've spent many happy hours in the Pungo...and in the Manteo...and quite a few others...'tough to have your cake and eat it too but...(especially when your hands are intimately filled with the lightest paddle you can afford...)
The Pungo cockpit is great for easier in/out.
The cockpit will let in water if you're in waves/surf.
There are "skirts" (full & partial) to help keep the wet stuff out.
The broad beam makes for a stable ride and minimizes the big dump...'also makes for a slower boat when compared with all the "sleek" beauties that are harder to enter/exit and much easier to invert.
As a rule, I launch/recover on the inside (bay, channel, etc)...the world quickly changes when you attempt to negotiate the surf with a pricey SWFF outfit secured in a deck "rod-holder"...the picture of de-masted sailboats comes to mind...I'll do surf, but not before I batten down the hatches and accept the fact the waves will dictate most of the game...a fine line between the thrill of victory and the agony of unintentional hydro-inversion.
The speed and "performance" is somewhat related to hull design and the engine.
You are the engine!
Life if full of trade offs and compromises...
You might consider the Spring YakAttack...and also the Spring dealer free-paddle-days to show off their stuff and launch the new season. A chance to be one with compromise and find your centre of gravity!
If you can get down to the Cape, I know a semi-secret place where you can sample from the buffet and become "educated" to the point of being financially jeopardized and/or launched into the Land of Yak! (from which there is no escape...and I wouldn't have it any other way!) (YakatyYak,don't talk back!)
Embrace the Yak...Be one with the Yak...Be the Yak!