I'll try not to ramble, but the following is a sort of stream of consciousness on what we've liked so much about the boat. We moor the boat in Marblehead, Mass and typically operate between Boston and the backside of Cape Ann -- a mix of Salem sound and more open water). In all cases the boat performs very well. As "jrg" noted, you just try to keep the bow down going into the waves and up with a following sea (which is the trickier of the two). As I mentioned, there can be a decent amount of spray, but the dodger helps out a lot here.
I think the single thing we enjoy the most is the "semi-displacement" aspect of it. I know this is a term that many here take issue with, but the result in the Eastern 24 is really pretty much perfect for the way we use the boat. I think the first thing you notice is that you never really hop up onto plane. The boat just glides through the water, almost like a launch. We probably cruise at around 18-20mph (guessing) and top out a hair above 30. Through that entire range the ride is just really sweet and smooth. Even in some much bigger water, the boat really performs admirably and instills a lot of confidence. We've been out on some days that we probably shouldn't have been and we haven't stuffed the bow yet…
The next thing that will hit you is how fuel efficient the boat is. Our's is powered by a Honda 130 and it uses far less gas that our old 17' Edgewater. While fueling up isn't exactly fun, it is far from dreadful. In many ways it actually is pleasant in terms of making you feel like you made a really good decision. I can't tell you how many times we've gone to fill it up and thought "that's it?" Not sure if the newer/beamier model looses some of this efficiency, but even if it did, I'd think it would still be way above average.
We both have young families (2 girls, each) and the boat can comfortably fit all of us — a real sort of family cruiser. It is equally great for taking off for a day at the beach, going exploring or just puttering around the harbor with a cocktail. The girls can snuggle up under the dodger to get out of the sun or spray, it has a portable head in the bow, a big cooler under the leaning post — all the stuff to make everyone comfortable.
We also like the simplicity. I don't know much about fiberglass layup schedules and the like, but you can tell the thing is build like a tank. It also doesn't have foam to get water logged or rigging tunnels that are impossible to navigate. Everything is very straight forward — you get the sense that there isn't a lot to go wrong. The scuppers are high enough that water never comes in the stern, there's a good anchor well, batteries are in the console and the bilge pump predictably in the bilge. It all just kinda makes sense. I guess that some people might take issue with wood stringers, but they're epoxy coated and wood has been used for years in boats nicer then our's, so it doesn't bother me. Others may think there is not enough freeboard, but there is plenty for us and it is easy to get into on the mooring… You get the picture.
We bought ours used and the guy who had it built put a ton of upgrades into it. A teak deck, wash down, fancy leaning post, wheel, pop up cleats, etc, etc. I guess the point is that they can very much tailor them to your liking — picnic boat style or more of a work boat and everything in-between.
Lastly, I think it is a really sharp looking boat — maybe I'm shallow, but it's gotta count for something. Hopefully I haven't indulged in to much hyperbole and this isn't totally biased. Call it one man's opinion. I'm sure others can add to this or maybe beat me back on anything they disagree with. I'm aware that everyone always likes their boat best, right? Hope it helps though.