I've been advised by a lot of people - including James over at good ride.com - that the Raptor is a much less forgiving board. All around much more difficult to control. And that for what I'm looking for the Premier would be a better fit.
I currently ride a Proto CT 154, and that feels a bit short for what I'm looking for. I also rode a Burton Custom 156 in the past, which also seemed not at all long.
I guess part of my thinking with the 159 (other than that the 157 is unavailable) is, look at their line up of possible sizes. The 159 is the second-to-smallest Premier they make this year, out of 7 sizes. And next year it will be the smallest out of 7. Now, I'm on the smaller side of riders... but at 155 lbs, I doubt I'm the very tiniest guy they're aiming this board at. Seems to me, it's designed to be ridden at longer sizes, given that it's a free ride board.
Well, that's my logic at least. Feel free to tell me I'm crazy.