Did you move up to the 2551 and/or 2552? Why? (I dont like the 2 twin beds, no cuddling with wife)
This is one of the most critical points for my wife and I with our 2350. We would much rather deal with the restricted access over shaking hands across the isle. The Rob & Laura Petrie arrangement wouldn't cut it for us.
With that said, if I were to consider a new 2350, I would seriously look at a 2351 with a longer bed instead of the pantry there, for two reasons.
1) much easier access to get in and out from the bed
2) I assume a larger outdoor storage compartment. Confirm this with the factory
If you decide not to get the optional slide out, you will regain the pantry when selecting the dinette, I think a super-size pantry when selecting the couch. You need to confirm this with the factory.
Our 2007 E350 chassis with the 2350 was ill equipped for good handling for a multitude of reasons which were resolved since 2007. The E350 chassis from 2008 to today is improved. Another consideration/comparison of the 2350 today to yester-year, it was redesigned, maybe to further improve handling.
Our 2007 2350, the fresh water tanks sits across the rear bumper. All the weight of a full tank of water is as far out there as possible, as bad as you can get. Adding that when a half tank of water sloshes side-to-side, that also influences handling.
I think it was in 2009 when the fresh water tank was relocated within the space under the bed. It was turned 90 degrees and moved forward, closer to the rear axle and also closer to the front/back center line as well. This improved the weight distribution and also reduced any effects of sloshing water.
So I believe, since we purchased our 2350 in 2007, the current-day chassis and improved location of the water tank in combination reduces the need for suspension upgrades. I also might... and I do mean "might" consider an E450 chassis with the longer 2351. This because I would be tempted to load up heavy, the outdoor storage compartment which is now against the rear bumper. The E450 would be the better choice for so much weight cantilevered far out from the rear axle.
In sort-of a strange way, our old 2007 2350 design is very good, only because we have the option not to carry fresh water. If we did that, our rig would handle much better without modification to the chassis. But we love to carry a load of fresh water so our suspension upgrades are well utilized. The 400 pounds of water weight over the rear bumper also dampens the rough ride by a lot.
There are pros and cons to everything RV.