Bought a used Stingray at a local dealer a week ago and got it out on a local lake this past weekend. I'm really pleased with the Stingray as a beginner boat. It is incredibly stable and controls relatively well. I had no problems getting where I wanted to go. It took me a lot of effort to get momentum, but I think that's largely the side effect of its stability. It is not a sleek boat.
Contributing to that is its weight. At 48 pounds, it puts up quite a fight when I'm trying to lift it up onto my van. After a few successful lifts, I decided I'd rather save my back and got assistance lifting the boat on and off the rack. Once it's down, however, it can be carried on a shoulder without too much pain. I'm not looking forward to actually portaging it over terrain, though.
Don't underestimate the utility of the console behind the seat. I used it for storing my camera gear in a dry bag, and it was quite painless to reach behind the seat without turning around to grab my gear.
As my Stingray is very used (it was a rental boat), the dry hatch isn't as dry as it maybe once was. The cover for the hatch is loose and would not qualify as watertight. There are also lots of gouges in the hull that can't be repaired, but that's life with a poly boat.
The seat is very comfortable and quite adjustable. After 5 hours in it, I felt no need to add any cushioning to the seating system.
Overall, I'm happy with the purchase. It was down to the Stingray and an Emotion Edge, but the Edge was much more sluggish and lacked that handy console. I definitely recommend the Stingray as a beginner flatwater boat.