I don't know why some people have the mind set that you have to have one or the other.
Personally I have both. And I like flying both. I don't give a squatt how the plane gets in the air.
I just like being a kid again at 69 and having fun.
Some of the comments I've read on here regarding a pure versus a power sailplane kind of reminds me of when I was a kid and playing ball. Some kid would say you can't do it that way,so I'm going to take my ball and go home. It's like,if you don't launch on a winch,you can't play,or visa versa.
As far as the flying aspects of a pure versus a powered sailplane for those of us that are just out to have fun,in my opinion are the same.
A couple weeks ago I was at our field.There were two of us flying (both Skybench planes) I was flying my Electric Oly III and he was launching off the winch with his Big Bird XL. We were both having fun,and both planes performed very well together,his pure and my electric.
The thermals didn't care whether his pure or my electric found them. They just lets us play with them.
I do know, I want to build a Big Bird XL after watching his Big Bird XL fly.
Ray,I'll be ordering a Big Bird XL soon. Whether it will be pure or electric,I don't know.
Just my opinion. If you don't like it you can take your ball and go home.