First off, i'm not just some mervin fanboy. I also have boards from Omatic, Echelon, Burton, Capita and Prior currently in the quiver.
Anyway, I got my Billy Goat and Jamie Lynn FunDamnMental for a combined 585 bucks if that is too much money for a couple of pretty awesome boards maybe you need a better job or a cheaper hobby.
My team of experts have found that neither board has had an issue from not having metal on the tip and tail. My friends "high end" board from another made in the USA manufacturer, which cost more than either of my Mervins msrp, split to the core when he tapped something in the woods. He didn't crash or even realize that he hit anything until he noticed the nose was split and there was a chunk of wood stuck in it. Lots of good that little extra piece of metal did...
As for the bases, I won't argue that it's not the fastest base on the Lib but the base on the Billy Goat is fast and the Lib isn't really a hell of a lot slower.
Would you like to tear me a new ass hole too hot shot?