Only you can decide if they layout is right for you.
I would think that if you like the Cali layout then that is the way to go, as it can be fully maintained by any VW dealer.
If you get a conversion, even a pukka one like Danbury, then you have to go to VW for the Van stuff and Danbury for the camper bits - if they are close to you that might not be an issue.
Of course if the Cali layout is not for you then your only option is a conversion. Also with conversions you get more options of van spec and LWB.
I would be interested to see the financial comparisons if you are willing to share them. We started by specing up a conversion, and by the time we had a high spec base van + crash tested bed + heater etc, etc, the costs were very close.
I see Chris Evan has just got a Danbury so they must be pretty good
I had a good look at a California at a dealers last year just before I went to the NEC motorhome show. I looked at every VW T5 conversion there. Despite many demonstrators at the show telling me the Cali was 10 year old technology with a whole load of problems I was not impressed by any of the other conversions. Wooden cabinets and carpet stuck to the walls just didn't do it for me. I did quite like the Hymer T5 and the Westfaila Joker but neither were suitable as a daily driver, and just as pricey as the Cali.
Both the Jerba Sanna and Danbury Royale have their kitchen / cookers further back I like cooker top down the side so we can make a cuppa from the bench seat without having too put the roof up If I was buying now I may consider a high top and LWB.
I do like the Cali use of materials for the inside units - some conversions I looked at the units looked like cheap MFI kitchen units and I wondered how they would look after a few knocks.
When you started adding some of the extras or a engine with more than 84bhp on the prices quoted on some conversions in soon became close to a Cali.
look and all ,but at the end of the day you pay your money and you take the choice
Have you looked at the Wellhouse Terrier very nice vehicle it's based on the new Ford Transit Tourneau, has a very good spec better than a Cali SE for less than 40K and uses mostly Reimo parts for the conversion
If residuals aren't paramount, then the two you've listed obviously differ from The Cali in that they have the living area divided up (rather like mine which has lounge then kitchen then loo/dressing), where the Cali just has one big space.
I like the separate areas. Family members can cook / use the loo / and play cards at the same time! Try that in a conventional rock and roll layout!
In addition, when I had the 'Cali' layout previously, I found I was constantly reaching over the back seat (or going out to the tailgate) to get stuff from the boot. The layouts you've listed tend to have more cupboard space BUT HAVE NO BOOT - So you've to work out where you'd put your pop-up tent / kites / wetsuits / etc etc etc.
I know the Danbury comes in high top as well as pop top. If a high-top was a possibility, do look at the new Westfalia Joker, but be aware you'll be ribbed here for owning a 'Motorhome' and folks will expect you to vend ice creams!
Strangely enough I was sold a Cali by a converter.
I had looked at every feasible combination.
Basics for me was powerful engine, automatic, effortless cruising on long journeys, but small and nimble enough to get to the parts that other motorhomes cannot reach (not sure who's advert that was, but thank you ).
LWB was out, would not get me where I wanted to go.
That left standard wheelbase conversions.
The cali was shown to me as "well, this is what the manufacturer provides, as an alternative".
Oh, it's integrated, built as a camper from scratch, one stop shopping, one stop repair and support, a vehicle as it was designed to be, not as it was converted to be. Thank you, that will do me nicely ....
and so far it has done me nicely.
Depends on what you want. Personally if an auto cruise rhythm was a metre and a bit shorter, had half a metre less height, 50 bhp more, came in a half-decent automatic version, had 4WD and the cab layout of a T5 then I would opt for an auto cruise rhythm. Sadly it does not so I just have to make do with a cali .... :?
we looked long and hard and costed having a motorhome prepped windowed T5 base converted v Cali. By time you add in all the extras that come as standard with Cali there was not much in it.
Two things decided us - with the Cali the whole lot is covered by any VW dealer from a broken catch to a blind as well as anything mechanical...whereas any fitment probs with a conversion you have to go back to convertor, plus the Cali is VW factory thru and thru (I am a VW snob sorry)
There is also the whole resale and residuals thing...not of any concern to us but important to some. Calis hold their price and sell fast.
If you are looking at a conversion I recommend checking out CMC Reimo in Kent..that was best one we found (with seating for 3 in rear and sliding on proper side for RHD). However, with a bespoke conversion rather than an off the shelf conversion package (and there are some super ones about) you get to specify exactly what you want for your lifestyle and are involved in the design and materials choices...and you have a totally unique camper!
If considering bespoke I suggest you go to somewhere like BUSFEST (Malvern, google it) in Sept as you will see lots of small bespoke conversions that are never at NEC type shows...and some really stunning examples of one off builds...