-- Last Updated: Sep-22-12 3:47 PM EST --
I am sad to hear of the end of the Pintail and Aquanaut. For me the Pintail epitomizes the Valley feel and look. Even the Aquanaut feels more fluid in the water than many newer 'friendlier' boats. The Pintail is the most fluid feeling boat I've ever paddled. It seems one with the water. Both the Avocet and Aquanaut derive from the Pintail hull section. As Nate notes, Valley boats tended to have lower primary stability than the newer boats.
Thankfully Valley is keeping many of the Nordkapp models. The Nordkapp LV is more demanding than most manufacturers would market these days. I find mine the greatest fun when I am up for it.
My Aquanaut is my go to, do everything boat. I've been paddling it for years and prefer it to any other 17'+ touring boat I've paddled.
I haven't paddled an Etain, but it seems that Valley is moving away from the distinctive Valley feel that earned the praise "There's nothing like a Valley."