Thanks everybody for your feedback. Lots of valuable info for me!
Now I am in the process of reading this thread. Just discovered new replies as for some reason I have not received e-mail notifications from this topic for some time already.
And meanwhile I want to share some photos of a modern single-handed circumnavigation on Bavaria 36 by a sailor from Portugal. These photos show his boat after she lost her mast with furling mainsail.
So, these photos demonstrate another important consideration in furling vs traditional mainsail argumentation - mast strength and mast weight are crucial factors to have in mind: