I liked BlazingPedals' general bent-choosing advice in that other "Recumbent advice please" thread. It's a sensible approach to spending a pile of money. Still, I'd like some pointers to help me narrow down my choices.
I'm 6'2" 225 lbs with about 45" X-seam. I ride a 62cm diamond-frame road bike (700x23 140psi) as a quick commuter, 16 miles each way in 50-55 minutes depending upon traffic. My usual loaded ride-to-work pace (laptop etc. in panniers) is 20-22 mph on flat ground with no wind. I commute year-round every day in mostly flat Silicon Valley (around San Jose) California, about 3800+ miles since I replaced my bike computer's battery in late May.
I'm intrigued by recumbents for their comfort and (for some types) speed and efficiency. To keep the same efficiency I expect I'll need to look at bents with 700c wheels, which (so far as I can tell) means a SWB high racer style. But for traffic I don't really want to be fully reclined; I wouldn't mind mounting a fairing and maybe even a tail cone to improve my aerodynamics. I'm more attracted to USS because the OSS bikes I've tried had lots of tiller, but I'm willing to be persuaded. I need to mount panniers, fenders, and lights. Budget is of course always an issue; if I try to spend $2K on another bike I'll be shut down cold.
I live only 40 miles from the Easy Racers factory so maybe I ought to drop in and check them out.
Can anyone suggest some bikes I should consider? What are the best bent shops in my area? Thanks for any pointers!