Your input was exactly what I was looking for...honesty.
Some people harp on and on about brands they grew up with. I understand loyalty but at a certain point we need to be realistic and reality tells me that ballpark of 5k (after upgrades, moving..etc) is a bit much for something that just imitates something we like when another 1k or so will buy the real deal instead of the imitation. That is my way of thinking and it sounds like you are on the same page with me.
Some mentioned in my thread about budget. Budget has little to do with my choice up to ballpark of $6,000 to $7,000 for table, light, delivery and setup. More than that and the price tag may make me wonder if it is worth the price or not.
You know what they say...."you don't know how you look till you get your picture took" = "will see"...
I have a GCIII and play on Diamonds every week. I had Jeremy Chambers here in Chicago put new Diamond rails on it and made the pockets same as Diamond The GCIII or any GC will never play like a Diamond, it has to do with the depth of the pocket shelves. The Diamond is deeper. I bought my GCIII used for about $1900 installed with new cloth and spent another $1400 on the new rails. Knowing what I know now, I would have gotten a Diamond. If you can swing it, just buy a Diamond. More fun to play on. If you can play on a Diamond, you can play on anything. If you play on GC's, Diamonds will intimidate you, or at least they did me before I had the rails done.