In the present work we revisit the b-family model of peakon equations, containing as special cases the b=2 (Camassa-Holm) and b=3 (Degasperis-Procesi) integrable examples. We establish information about the point spectrum of the peakon solutions and notably find that for suitably smooth perturbations there exists point spectrum in the right half plane rendering the peakons unstable for b<1. We explore numerically these ideas in the realm of fixed-point iterations, spectral stability analysis and time-stepping of the model for the different parameter regimes. In particular, we identify exact, stationary (spectrally stable) lefton solutions for b<−1, and for −1<b<1, we dynamically identify ramp-cliff solutions as dominant states in this regime. We complement our analysis by examining the breakup of smooth initial data into stable peakons for b>1. While many of the above dynamical features had been explored in earlier studies, in the present work, we supplement them, wherever possible, with spectral stability computations.