I appreciate the rational thoughts of lakesailor and poll analysis from Russ. My perspective as a one-design sailor is that our class rules and restrictions level the playing field by controlling costs. Our rules go beyond material to include limits on the number, type, size and how often sails may be replaced.
While accurate, the converse to Russ' claim that 62% would pay more is an even larger majority (73%) that would only pay a small premium or none at all (35% plus 38%, respectively). If it were in fact possible to obtain a laminated sail for just 10% over the cost of Dacron, would the remaining 27% of class members, already willing to pay even more, accept the limits of a budget priced laminate?
In answer to another question posed above, were the class to allow laminated mainsails, yes, I would feel compelled to purchase one in order to remain competitive. Where I sail the difference between the top boats in most races is measured in seconds. If the class were to make the change I'd imagine our fleet would either stay Dacron for at least a couple years or change completely to laminates within two seasons. The change might spark interest or it could kill an already declining fleet so that the few remaining boats sailed PHRF part time like the rest of the country. Realize that there are a dozen alternative one-design keelboats racing in Annapolis, J/22, J24, J/80, J/105, and J/35 among them.
While a lively exchange of opinions is vital to the class, continuing uncertainty over rules is not. Are we going reconsider the mainsail material annually? How about once every three or four years, the minimum life span of a mainsail. If you wish to succeed in convincing satisfied one-design sailors to purchase a more expensive mainsail than they need, you might also consider extending the replacement cycle, and further limiting how often or how many sails can be purchased annually.