I'm glad you posted your question to this forum. Your question is the kind that really gets people to thinking about why they choose the path they have chosen when they are building an aircraft. It is a good question, because it has many different parameters to think about.
Many years ago, I was asking myself a very similar question to yours. For me it was the RV-6A vs. CH601HDS, back in the mid-nineties. I chose the CH601HDS, for lower tool costs and to take advantage of the blind rivet technology. Please be aware that I have worked with both blind and solid rivets - I am scratch building and built my own spar using solid rivets. It was a very enjoyable part of the project but made me happy I'd gone with blind rivets for the rest of the plane. You can pull blind rivets at amazing speed compared to solid rivets.
Blind rivets are a legitimate aviation fastener, and the ones used in the Zenith products are aviation rivets with a certified shear limit of over 238lbs. Other kit manufacturers are using aviation blind rivets now as well: The Van's RV-12, the Murphy product line, and of course, many of the sport-pilot and ultralight aircraft use blind rivets in all sorts of structural places. Commercially, EADS Socata uses blind rivets in their small aluminum aircraft. One of my very favorite, the TB-9, uses blind pull rivets in it's airframe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Socata_TB
I wanted to give you one more parameter to consider when choosing a kit: I stopped construction when my children entered high school, and have been working to restart construction of my aircraft now that they have left home. I will have to re-orient myself to the style and technology of the kit vendor in order to pick up where I left off and resume. The simplicity of the design is a huge asset to me in continuing with the construction project where I left off. Plus, even though the 601HDS is no longer sold, I have many friends and mailing lists and resources to call upon as I restart, not to mention the kit vendor, Zenithair, who offers excellent support to all their builders.
Please - come back to us and tell us what decision you make and talk out to us how it goes. I think we are all always interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences you have as you seek to build your own aircraft.
Best of luck with your choice - either one of these products are spectacular projects that will yield a solid aircraft with wonderful flying qualities.
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