Originally Posted by Big Star Lake
I was in your exact same spot a few years back. My wife and I sold our 22ft Maxum open bow and immediately started the search for a Mastercraft. After researching night after night, talking with other owners, and water tests, I decided to buy our 2010 X15 last year (Aug '12) and have not looked back. In my opinion, the X15 is the best all around boat that MC made over the last several years.
As you'll note, the X15 inventory is slim online. I believe its due to many people buying and keeping the boat. If you do find an X15, it's usually gone fairly quickly. If you don't mind being patient, you'll be able to find the right boat. I'd suggest reaching out to the MC dealers in your surrounding states and letting them know you're looking for a late model X15. A lot of times, especially with MC, the boats get sold before they're even listed online. If you're on their list, you might get a shot at a boat before it's listed online and they get hounded. Other than that, watch all the sites [onlyinboards.com, this forum, and dealer websites)
When comparing options on different X15s, I decided that I wanted to purchase the boat with as many options as possible. The attitude adjustment plate (center plate used to help flatten the wake for better skiing) was important to me because my wife likes to ski. The one we bought also had surf tabs that (if you set the ballast correctly) really help the wake for surfing. The boat had the standard ballast set up for wake-boarding which works for me at my current skill level. The previous owner had upgraded the stereo system with additional subs and 4 tower speakers which makes a difference in music clarity when doing anything behind the boat. My X15 has the BIG system in addition to the standard gauges. Some believe this is a liability (because if it stops working no one knows what it's going to cost to replace or fix .. and they may be right) but I actually wanted the BIG screen. Now days, all the new boats are being made with the touch screens and full color controls. Like you, I plan on owning my boat for 10+ years, but IF I wanted or needed to sell, I believe the BIG system is an attractive selling point. Since all new boats / cars etc are being made with full color screen controls, people are going to want that option in a used / late model boat.
Decide what's important to you and decide what you're willing to give up if you find the right deal. If you have the time, you can add any option you want but the costs can add up quickly.
Either way, you can't go wrong with an X15. Just my opinion.
Welcome to the forum and good luck on the search! If you have other questions, post 'em up.