Hey, to all who've been so great in contributing to this topic and helping me sort through my madness.
I've finally made my decision. And I'm very happy with it. It calls to me. What price, that?! I just wasn't happy with the Orion. It was heavier than it needed to be, clunkier and the rings were over-sized and heavy, too. I've no doubt that the optics would be really good, but so would many other scopes in its class.
I called Company Seven and found out Marty was away and wouldn't be back until this Thursday. And so I dealt with William, the C-7 tech. He's a sweetheart and a pleasure to deal with and very knowledgeable. I told him I'm returning the Orion OTA for $2800 refund - and am putting that toward the TeleVue NP101is. It was the one I always wanted but Marty kept insisting I should save money and get the Orion, despite my saying what I really wanted. So I reluctantly went along with him. Mistake. So I had to return the Orion and order the TV (today, Tuesday). William said he's had nothing but great experiences with selling this scope and that the customers are all very happy; not one returned. He recommends it highly. It's very near the top of the hi-end heap.
Yes, it's a lot more costly when factoring in not just the additional for the TV OTA, but the rings (which are much slimmer and lighter than the Orion's), a new dovetail plate and I decided to get the TV 2x Big Barlow which, with the array of EPs, adds a nice fil-in range. The EPs I already had bought with the Orion, except swapped the 12 Nagler/4 (used) for the Delos 14 (see array below).
The EPs: 35mm Pan - 15x, 4.11 deg (Pleiades conqueror, looking forward to immersing myself in those sisters); 14 Delos - 39x, 1.84 deg; 6 Delos - 90x, 0.81 deg; 3.5 Delos - 154x, 0.47 deg. Double them with the Big Barlow. All EPs have great eye relief since I need to wear glasses.
The scope should come into the store late this week. William will do his normal rigorous testing to ensure it lives up to its reputation.
I feel real good, now. Call it emotional, or attending to the heart; I couldn't care less of others who might sneer at this mode of decision making. I have researched this to near death, as you all know who've read my posts, so while not just purely spec-driven, it was certainly not hastily arrived at.
Much regards to all, Rod (and I'll follow up with impressions once I get to see and touch it, and William thoroughly explains the workings to me (as he did with the Orion). So all you who nay-say C-7 because Marty's a bit of a handful, still the testing and other service aspects are more than well worth and issues.