RE: NEED INPUT FROM INSTRUCTORS, TEAM RIDERS, STARBOARD TEAM, TESTERS...
Well, I'm not with the starboard team, but I am a windsurfing instructor, so I have some knowledge of what people like.
Short wide boards like the START are the best for learning, but the first board a person buys should be more enjoyable to sail in non-planing mode. That means it must be relatively long and narrow, and have a large daggerboard. It also should have inboard footstrap options for an easy transition to planing when the wind is strong enough.
So the best boards that starboard offers are definitely the Phantoms.