Thanks for the continued help and comments....I'm 6'4" so that was part of the reason I was looking at the Adventure and the fact that I'll probably (at least initially) be riding this largely as a commuter to and from work to save on the diesel for my truck. Someone recommended a V-Strom 650 to start...not sure about those personally, but I've heard a lot good about them as well as the KLR 650. Thoughts?
Looking somewhat long term (and again keep in mind I am not retired yet) I would like to plan a trip next summer (2014) from VA to CO to ride to the top of Pikes Peak and perhaps do part of the COBDR.
I hope to be in CA for a couple months before I get trasnferred to VA so I'd love to meet anyone on the W. Coast for a coffee for sure.