No problem jrwong, I believe you meant well. I will consider your advice.
Love the name HeroicPenguin! Thank you for the link. Since I'm in no big rush I'll keep an eye out, I may get lucky and catch it for less than 200, but I can live with 217. In the meantime I will try and check out all the other suggestions.
I'm not sure why but my gut is screaming esw9. I'll go have another listen to be sure my first impression was warranted. I wish there was a place to go A/B all these, but I think I understand why there isn't. The esw9s are 399 in Magnolia, that's crazy. On a side note: the only difference between esw9 and esw9a is the one with an "a" is the model destined for US sales right. I think the esw9a uses the tonewood African paudak vs Japanese cherry for the esw9, from what I've been able to find. Are there any differences, sonically or otherwise?
Just like (in my case) guitar equipment, you just have to let your ears decide, and deal with the fact that your brain is constantly learning to comprehend more of the subtle nuances in sound. The search for sonic bliss, the never ending tone quest resulting in what is my sonic OCD, shall go on, and on... There are worse ways to spend your money, right?
Edited by Sonic OCD - 1/24/13 at 11:01pm