A newly minted pilot at the airport today asked me what would be a better airplane to purchase as a first time airplane owner a Dakota or a Piper 235? I don't own so I really couldn't give him a solid answer. He learned in a Piper Archer, (60 Hours). So I listed the facts for him: #1. Both airplanes are fixed gear so you won't have to worry about maintenance too much. #2. Both airplanes have a considerable amount of useful load, (Dakota 1300 and the 235 1400 respectively) #3. Overall maintenance should be a breeze if you don't get the turbo models. I'm sure I missed quite a few things what are your experiences flying either one of these birds. Thank you!