Re: Todd Sucherman here!
Like everything, it's a personal opinion. But check out some thicker shelled drums if you're in the market for a new kit.
I really have no experience with much "modern" Sonor kits so I can't make the comparison. I used a Designer kit on the Styx '96 tour. It's the only kit I've ever unloaded and sold to a friend. It was a great kit, but not really "special" as it was thin shells, maple, just like every company was making. I do have a Pearl Masters 4 ply MMX kit which is lovely. I used that in the DVD for the small jazz kit segments. It works great in that context in my opinion. But the Masterworks really shine for the "big kit" stuff in the DVD.