OK, the tubes arrived. Man, they are quick! They are definitely beefier at 17 gauge than the Ace 20s, and the thread is the same as the Ace version, so fits my adapter fine. Whew! The heavier gauge makes it easier to tap a safety screw if you want, though the 20 takes a 4-40 screw and nut with no issues. There are upsides and downsides to light and heavy, I'd say. Light: Less tendency to slide on its own when scope is pointed up, and less drag on the focuser tube. Heavy: Easier to tap, more like the original in feel, and certainly won't have any tendency whatsoever to flex on its own. I'd say it's 6 of one, half dozen of the other, either works just fine and both are strong enough, I think. The heavy ones have the logo stamped on the threaded end, unfortunately, so using those makes it obvious it's not a stock draw tube when I use my threaded adapter, while with the ACE the threaded end has no company logo. This is nitpicky stuff, though, in the extreme. Any way you cut it, these all work darned well with no slop at all.
If nothing else this proves that if somebody loses their draw tube, they can get a replacement simply by having one of these internally threaded and it will be perfect.
And, if somebody wants to use 1.25" eyepieces with any of these long-drawtube scopes (Tasco, Sears, SCOPE, Meade, Towa) I think this is definitely a great way to go.
Any other way to make an adapter seems to have no advantages, and one might as well use a blue fireball .965 to 1.25 adapter in a .965 diagonal. The approach of using the plumbing tubes is the only way that I can see that insures there is no possibility of cutting into the light path while using 1.25" eyepieces. Thankfully, all these focusers screw off the OTA with no problem, so switching tubes around is no problem whatsoever, which makes it a modification that is 100% reversible in a minute or so. That I like a lot.