In the next year or two, I am considering upgrading to something a bit faster and perhaps more capable than my current aircraft. I have never flown, or even been in a Mooney and don't have anyone local to get a ride in one either.A bit about my plane and I:I am in my late 40s, based in Northern Nevada at 4500' MSL, have about 620 hours, and am instrument rated. About 420 of my hours are in my 1979 Piper Dakota and I fly about 110 hours per year. I don't want to go backwards, so for reference, my Dakota's panel consists of: GTN750, GNC255, FlightStream 210, GTX330ES (for 1090 Out), GDL88 (for 978 Out and 1090/978 In), GMA350c, Dual G5s (no vacuum system), JPI830 with fuel flow, STEC-30 with Altitude hold, GPSMAP 496, LED lights including wing wig-wag. New paint, interior and glass in 2010 and a mid-time (900 Hrs) O-540 engine.My flights include the typical 1-hour, $100 hamburger run at 11-12K MSL, a few longer trips like Reno-Seattle or Reno-Tucson, as well as at least one trip across the USA each year between Reno and Michigan and points beyond. 2016: Bahamas/Cuba, 2017: Michigan, 2018: Florida/Guatemala, and in September we are planning to go to New England. I don't fly at night and I rarely have more than my wife and I on board. Thus, I don't need 6 seats, but I want to be able to easily fill 4 on a hot day at 4500' with full fuel like I can in my Dakota.The longer trips are a big reason we have the plane. I think if it were faster, I'd do two trips to Michigan each year. My wife has family there and we always seem to turn those trips into much larger trips. We also have family in the Atlanta and Dallas areas so we often end up there on the same trip. We are typically traveling for 4-5 weeks on these trips.Overall, I average about 142kts ground speed at 11-12K on 12gph which is ok, but I'd like to get somewhere closer to 160-180kts. The shortest runways I routinely fly into are 2300' at sea level and 4000' at about 4000' MSL. I have an 1150-pound useful load (720 left over after full fuel) and 5-hours fuel with 1-hour reserve. I always top off the tanks when I get fuel.One other issue are the Piper seats. You sit fairly low in a Dakota and the way Piper seats are designed, the back is often pitched back too far with no good way to adjust them. The A36/G36 and Cirrus I have been in, prop you much more upright. This would be much better for my wife's back since she ends up with extra pillows under her and behind her to get the Piper seat into a better position.Built-in oxygen would be a plus. On the Dakota, the trim wheel and Johnson bar flaps prevent putting anything between the seats... on my first flight using oxygen I managed to place the two tanks carefully on either side of the trim wheel but they blocked the flaps which I discovered coming into the pattern at U42 (just south of Salt Lake). Good learning experience.With the Dakota, our tips to Michigan have been via I-80 though Wyoming, south via Santa Fe or north via Sandpoint Idaho and Bozeman. Something with built-in O2 and turbo would open up some additional route options, though in a single I don't think I'd be going direct over the Rockies without serious regard for the terrain.So I am thinking of a Bonanza, Mooney or SR22, probably in that order. Obviously I have my high-performance endorsement, but I don't have a complex endorsement, though I have about 8 hours in complex aircraft, it was not always with a CFI. I have a couple hours each in an A36 and G36 and I've ridden in the back of an F33.I am happy with my plane, just looking for a way to keep the nice avionics and add 30 or so knots to the speed with a bit more comfort. The one door is fine - but two would be nice of course... not really a deal breaker there. My net budget is about $250K, but if I could find something nice for a lot less, all the better.I am looking for advice to help me narrow down makes, models, years and options to look for or avoid. For example, in the G36 I flew, the air conditioner was under the pilot seat and it left very little room to maneuver one's feet around. All the circuit breakers on the left side don't help. I am 5'10" and 160lbs, but I have long legs. I think I'd want tip tanks for destinations where fuel might not be available (such as we found in Cuba and Guatemala).I don't think I want a V-Tail as I have read about the issues with magnesium and the ruddervators, so would likely be leaning towards an A36 or G36 (though I am not sold on the G1000.. either in the G36 or Cirrus). Are there certain Mooneys to avoid because of similar issues?
My wife thinks I should get my twin rating so we can get a Baron for more comfortable over-water trips in the Caribbean. That might be a bit too costly to own and stay proficient in, so I would probably lean towards a standard single.Any thoughts, suggestions etc are greatly appreciated.Also looking for real world ground speeds (or TAS) altitudes and fuel burn.