We run a set up very similar to both blackrock and waveslide, an 1860, all welded, mod-v hull, side console.
Our motor set up is an older rebuilt 2 stroke 115/85 jet (it's a 1979 Johnson that is actually a 140 but the way they measured the h.p. then vs. now is different. That year the 115, 125 and 140 were the exact same motor but had different carb set ups to change the h.p., the 140 had different pistons as well. The key is that they were all the same weight. In today's world the 140 is a 115. I know TMI.) We also have a 10 h.p. kicker motor that is really useful for getting into slack water or sloughs that are filled with weeds and grass!
Here are the pros and cons to our current set up:
Floor (this past summer I stripped it to bare aluminum and installed HydroTurf flooring. The stuff is awesome. A bit pricey but worth it)
Side Console (I think this gives you a bit more of an open layout. IOW, more space cause you will end up using all of it)
3 bank Battery Charging System
Hauls a lot of gear, guys, dogs etc. this past weekend we had 3 adults, 2 kids (11 and 14), a dog, 5 dozen decoys, cooler, 18 gallons of gas and she still gets right up on plane and cruises at about 30mph, assuming the water is smooth enough.
Beaver Tail blind (sets up fast. When new though it is real shiny so mudding it in is required)
Gas guzzler (especially compared to a 4 stroke)
Rough ride (anything more than about 4-8 inch wind chop and it's a rough ride)
Jets hate weeds/Millfoil. I agree that the pods are a solution to that problem and if you need the additional flotation due to running a surface drive or 4 stroke motor then they work great. We have pods on a couple of 14' boats that have 35/25 4 stroke jets in Alaska and they are a must have for that. However, I just came across a solution for removing weeds from an outboard jet without having to raise the motor and hang off the back of the boat. Stompgrates.com is making a stomp grate for outboards now. Not sure of the price but it sure looks like it would do the trick.
All that said here is my 2 cents based on our experiences and having owned multiple jet and boat combos. Our current boat has been a work in progress for the last 4 years or so. The one thing we learned after multiple boats is that get the biggest boat, within reason, that you can with the most open floor plan. From there you can set it up for the way you are going to use it. You may think you want one thing or another and then you try it and decide you want it different. Once we got a couple of seasons in the boat and had the layout the way we wanted we started to add the accessories such as LED lights, upgrading the blind, flooring etc etc.
I agree that running the Snake is best done with a jet. Just try and get a motor that will properly power your boat the way you will be using it. An under powered jet is a pain in the butt. Been there done that and won't do it again but I do understand how the money thing factors into that equation. Going with an older but bigger motor can offset some of the pain. That said, make sure and get a good solid motor. Gary Cole at Coles Marine is who I would talk to and see if he has anything rebuilt.
Probably way more info than you wanted or need.