Surface drives throw a great rooster tail and look really cool, but you can get the same tail with outdrives. We are running Sportmasters and the boat throws a natural rooster tail regardless of trim. Granted, the X dimension is pretty high (could actually be a little higher), but it stills planes easily and handles really well. Of course, with outdrives you don't get that bad a** look associated with the surface drives.
Anyhow, with a good rooster tail people can certainly see you coming from a long distance. They see white water long before the boat appears! Pretty cool.