My last suggestion would be to ditch the travel agents. Big call I suppose but I say this because in my experience I have not needed them.
In this photo of my Cannondale H300 hybrid I am using 105 ST-5703 levers on the original v-brakes and it works extremely well:
I've also run Tiagra ST-4503 levers with V-brakes on another bike in the past with no real issues on that setup either.
Anybody have experience one way or the other with regular levers and v brakes?