...Do you order new boards without seeing them? Personally I just wouldn't do it, I would have to read a spec sheet on them or something to give me more information on the board...
I do agree with you. In fact, when saying "without seeing them" I was referring to the boards; not to the specs, of course.
It seems to me that our ideas are much closer than expected. After all, I have no time to check for new boards before purchasing and given the fact that shops don't use to stock everything, I happened to buy my last 4 boards from a catalogue (or designer's advice, for my older RRDs). And, of course, I made extensive use of this forum when choosing the last Starboards.
That said, actually I do not rely on specs, since I learned how far from that a board could be. Rather I rely on suggested range of use. I bought the Sonic 95 because it was suggested to be a great slalom board to be used from slightly bigger than my 7.6 down to way smaller than my 6.6. I bought the Evo 83 because it was suggested to be a great wave board from slightly bigger than my 5.8 down to way smaller than my 5.0. Some variations in real volume vs. spec would have made no difference. Get the board and get used to it, since by sure it was designed to work. But I probably am an advanced windsurfer. The same would not apply to some other that needs to rely on uphauling, or schlogging in no wind.
And, after all, again, a tech spec is just that.