I'm gonna play with a few different models over the next few weeks and make a decision by the Wilmington show.
Incidentally, I really shouldn't be so disrespectful of my Battenkill. I have caught hundreds upon hundreds of fish with it over the last four seasons or so, and have never lost a fish due to reel failure. I'm also still using it and will continue to do so, the new reel being for my second outfit on the boat. i just would never buy another after going through so many spools--the metal is really soft.
Thanks for all your input.