I'm a little biased, but here goes.
I bought my 252 new in March '98, and it's been great! I had a 454Mag in it, and ran the crap out of it for seven years. I'm not sure how many hours were on that motor, but I'm sure it was 7-800. The only reason I put a new 496 in it is because the salt water here ate the tongue jack off my steel trailer, and the boat sat for about a month with the plug in and the nose of the trailer on the ground.
Needless to say, the engine and all of the accessories didn't like being underwater, so it was just easier to put the new package in it. It's run great so far and another 350 hours are on it. Hell, I'm liable to wear this boat out!