The great bow hunt has come to a conclusion! The winner is a nice bow by Chris Dickson, one of a number of archetiers in Port Townsend, WA. It plays nicely, it's lively, it makes a good full sound, and it came in under budget.
We went through four rounds of trial bows--and round trips to Ifshin's and back. There was never a bow that jumped out in front of all the others; however, this bow was always the best of the lot. The more we played it, the more we liked it; the last time we went to Ifshin's, we tried a whole bunch more bows (including a very nice one by Monique Poullot), but again, we kept coming back to this. In romantic comedy terms, we didn't fall in love with this bow at first sight. This bow was the reliable best friend who was there through thick and thin, and who we came to realize was actually the one we should have been been with all the time.
Of course, life isn't a romantic comedy. I'm sure Duva would drop this fine bow in a flash if somebody offered her a nice Peccatte or Tourte.