I've owned a Cirrus previously. Back in 2008, I bought a 6 year old SR20. It was a nice looking, almost new aircraft with low hours (300ish) and my wife loved the room and comfort of the cabin. Yes, it had great ramp appeal, looked modern, did 155kts and could go reasonably far without needing to refuel. Everything was great...except I really did not like how it flew. It just didn't feel right - at least to me - the SR20 (which is somewhat comparable to a J in performance) was really underpowered, easily overheated in the summer on the hot ramps in the Southwest and was a terrible climber. Oh, and it was not inexpensive to maintain - there were lots of service bulletins, many mandatory, which we had to comply with and the annuals fairly pricey. I realize this was one of the earlier Cirrri and that there were growing pains but it was not fun to own or really to fly. So after a little more than 3 years I sold it. And then came the biggest shock: in that 3 year period the plane lost almost $50K in value and took a long time to sell even though it was still less than 10 years old And had less than 1000SMOH. The main reason, it was a G1 and by that point Cirri were on G3 and just not as desirable. Lesson learned, Cirri don't seem to "retain" value near other aircraft because they get "refreshed" after only a couple of years with the latest gadgets and may not be as desirable to someone looking to buy a Cirrus.
Fast forward to early last year, when I was looking to buy an aircraft, I researched what was out there, what could fit my mission (a regular commute of approx 700 miles round trip, so speed and efficiency were key), somewhat modern avionics (ADSB, autopilot, full featured WAAS GPS) and what I could afford and really the only plane that made sense was a late model J. I did not look for a Cirrus - new or used - although out of curiosity I found out that my prior Cirrus had again sold in the meantime (upgraded to WAAS GPSs and with a fresh parachute repack) for less than I sold it for - so the guy that bought it did not do too well either. I had been flying Bonanzas, high performance C and P models in the meantime but was not too keen on any of them - the Mooney just made more sense.
So late last year, I bought a beautiful 98 J (the last 201 serial number ever built) after a long search and have been very happy with the performance, comfort and just how nice it flies. I'm preaching to the choir here I'm sure LOL. It is a totally different experience than the Cirrus was in all ways. My wife was not convinced at first - she missed the Cirrus cabin and questioned the size of the Mooney but after a family vacation in the plane she was sold. She thought it was just as comfortable and that it seemed to perform better (it did!). So I am definitely in the Mooney camp!
Would I buy a new Mooney? I'm not sure - but that's more because I don't like to get the depreciation hit on anything new. Would I buy a lightly used Acclaim? Most definitely!! I am just not a new plane/ car/ boat purchaser when a lightly used one is as good but costs much less - but more than that it's just not that different from a brand new one. I think the reason Cirrus is outselling Mooney, Beech, Cessna is that it appeals to a different kind of buyer: someone who wants to have the latest in technology, alleged safety, cabin goodies etc. and who is not satisfied with the couple of year older/ prior generation Cirrus. Why doesn't that buyer get a new Mooney? Because a couple of year older Mooney can be bought with equivalent equipment and performance at a lower cost without much difference. There just isn't a big delta in what you get in a lightly used Acclaim vs a new Acclaim. So not much motivation to buy new unless you just have to have new plane smell. Cirrus' constantly changing their models and bringing out new generations every couple of years, while sucking for Cirrus owners who see their resale value plummet, is brilliant to capture the high end buyer who wants the latest because a lightly used one is not the same as the new ones. In that strategy, by marketing to that buyer and highlighting the new stuff which can't be had with a used one they lock the buyer in. Mooney's advertising may convince someone to buy a Mooney but doesn't have to be a new one...that's the problem. There's just not that much difference. Ok the new pilot side door is definitely cool - but not sure it's a big enough change.
So who is the target for a new Mooney? Other than a Mooney purist /Mooniac who can afford one, it's probably a pilot who can use it for business, wants the performance uptick over a Cirrus and who can use the tax benefits - it's clearly not most of us who like the economical choice of buying used and letting someone else take the economic depreciation hit on a new plane.