"Few appropriate rivers in New England"?
The AMC River Guides are chock full of potential runs that would be much more salient in a packraft at low / medium water than in a canoe or kayak.
A bicycle gets around the limited-Wilderness hurdle on the return trip, though it need not be seen as a hurdle at all. What packrafting opens up is an opportunity for adventure, and make no mistake, adventure need not be limited to Wilderness or even semi-Wilderness environments. Especially when so many of our riparian corridors remain largely out of the public consciousness, now more than ever in some cases.
Being a Wilderness prude (you may not be, but I was) is a sure way to unnecessarily limit options, not just in the world of packrafting, but river running in general. Or so I've discovered in my limited (and belated) time with this sport.