Every day, as we are shoveling snow and living with a foot and a half of the white stuff, I drive past the lake and look at the ice and waves where it's not frozen, and dream of sailing my new A117 and SuperFreak! Alas, it'll be a few months, but it's coming... I think I'll be recognizable - check out sail design #339 if you're curious.
Your wife's views are noted. Well, by proxy they're noted. You seem like a very good guy, but I can't but think there is something lost in the translation.
Some random mast observations - JH forgive me these are not SF observations but if I can have some license they contribute to the discussion in that I really like what you've started but I think there are some qualitative parameters that aren't readily captured in a 0-10 rating....
Best mast / sail combo I personally ever owned was a FS 460 4700QT and NP Z1 7.0 - that combo lit up my Berky and was controllable to 20+ kts, never getting unbalanced, as it got windier all it did was pull harder. One day on Lake Erie, I was out with everybody from the area, and they couldn't hold me off with a 50% head start across the bay. It was THAT good. The local best (far and away not me) took the board out and came back saying that he thought they just work perfectly together. Sadly, using a different sail, I broke that mast on Lake Ontario...I was sailing great, totally dialed in on a 6.0 day, so much so that I did a duck jibe in the surf zone and muffed it sticking the mast in the sand. Alas, entropy is a deceptively powerful force. I still feel pain over that one...
Close second to a FS 520 5000QT with a NP Z1 8.7 - best rigged VERY flat, even in super light air, because once you got it planing with a LONG series of monster pumps it was G O N E. Same board, Berky 295.
Either sail you could wreck TOTALLY by using any other mast. It was like the board / mast / sail / fin were made for each other. Actually, one of the things that amazed me the most about this board was that the 8.7 had a totally different feel, but was awesome when dialed-in, only to be surpassed by the 7.0 sailed in as much wind as you could hold on to (which is of course how I broke masts...).
Buddy of mine has a 7.5 Ezzy (OK, so this SuperFreak I've got ordered is my very first HOT sail), and rigs it on an Ezzy 490 skinny. About all I can say for that setup is that it fits your hand nicely when you grab the mast.
I have an Ezzy 7.5 too (JH, that's on the chopping block for an 8.0 SuperFreak), which is an OK sail but I rig it on a weird mast. Being the cheap bum windsurfer that I am, I took a 460 bottom section (of the nicest lightest mast I ever owned until the 7.0 Z1 broke the top section), and mated it to a 520 FS 5000 top section...after a little bit of fiberglass work to get the sections to fit perfectly. It's an interesting effect, actually, as I rig it, well, hard to describe that, but the effect is a slippery feel that handles gusts magnificently and pumps well, but isn't totally flat like you would expect with a stock 490.
I have a bunch of littler sails (6.5 - 3.7) that, hands down, are better on a skinny than an SDM. For the same reasons as your wife espouses (pun intended). At least, as best I can tell from her proxy.
I guess that's why I'm intrigued by the declining relationship between mast ranking and the rated performance on JH's scale. Not that a skinny can't be great in the 460-520 range, but if you really look at the dimensions of the spindle and then look at the task - it's an awful lot for a thin pencil-lead shaped thing to do. My hypothesis is that the radius of the mast confers an added degree of stability that is not adequately measured by static load techniques. Sure, you can rig a 490 or even 520 (have to give you credit for pushing the envelope, Dolf), but will it control deflections under dynamic load?
Thus far, my bias is that skinnies lose their HUGE advantage when you get above 430; their advantage at the 460 level is probably application / sail dependent; at 490 and above I'm not convinced and think an SDM is a safer bet. One might do great with an RDM, but the objective ratings don't support that.
As I said, this is very interesting and I hope others will post their experiences and observations.
PS - Where did you find a wife like that? (You can treat that as a rhetorical question since this is a forum...)