The various state VOC regs play hell with paint quality. California sucks because we no longer have true oil-based paints ... As for decks, preparation is crucial, especially in cold climates like NY.
Check our Flood stains ... http://www.flood.com/index.do
You might also look at SW Deckscapes: http://www.sherwin-williams.com/home...or-deck-stain/
They do very well in harsher climates. Fact is, in harsh areas, you are looking at deck maintenance every two years anyway ...