Well as happens, fate decided it. I had intended to order either the KX2 or 3 this weekend, and yesterday I happened across an ad on craigslist for a 2 with basically everything you’d likely get if you weren’t going at it incrementally. So tuner, clock module, paddle, Lowe case, side kx and cover, mic, desk stand, and data cables. And the guy was asking not much more than the radio alone runs new. It wasn’t exactly local (St. Louis) but 4.5hrs r/t so not horrible. I figured it was either a scam or long gone, but the guy responded very soon to my inquiry. Long story short, I drove down there today and bought it from him.
In addition to a really amazing collection of keys/paddles and Collins rigs, the guy had a KX1 and KX3 in addition to the 2. He was selling the 2 because he didn’t use it much, preferring the 3. I’d never seen the KX1 in person: they’re fantastic little radios. And I’d never seen the 3 in person. While it is indeed nice, one look and I knew I’d gotten lucky to have ended up with the 2 as it’s the size I was hoping for. The 3 is small but the 2 is almost miraculous.
On the drive home we stopped off at a never before activated state park using it (there were no summits within 200 miles). We had our 10 contacts in 30 min or so, with lots of good signal reports from decent distances, particularly considering 40 was pretty shabby this afternoon. This is really my first experience with QRP, so I was pleasantly surprised. Can’t wait to get on the air with code this evening.
Again, many thanks to everyone who took time to offer advice. It was instrumental in making my decision.