Got to agree. My choice would be a Kawasaki KLR650. This is a do everything bike, though it doesn't really excel at any one thing. It is to heavy for an outright dirtbike, but it does great on dirt and gravel roads and wide smooth trails. It is a little uncomfortable on the highway compared to a pure street bike (though I find it WAY more comfortable than any sport bike), it also lacks power on the freeway, though it will certainly cruise at freeway speeds. It just won't take off like a rocket from 75 mph. You mentioned riding with your wife, and that is probably the KLRs biggest weak point. But that is true of all dual sport bikes. They just were not intended to carry a passenger. One will fit, but they won't be comfortable, and the bike won't handle very well. I definitely would not take a passenger on a long off road ride on one, but I probably wouldn't do it on a BMW 1200GS either. I have a '95 Goldwing for passengers, and it is the ONLY bike out of 46 I have owned that I have no reservations about carrying a passenger on. Maybe you could get your wife into riding and get her her own bike.
Oh, if you have any interest in the KLR, I would avoid the '08 model. It has a well known oil burning problem. But because of that, they are usually cheaper, and there is a fix, which ends up giving you more power than stock, if you want to go to the trouble.