I'm glad you were able to connect. I went through the factory only because when I called there in April, they took the ball and ran with it. I think it would be different now because Allan Poole is more dealer oriented and would probably have directed me to a dealer. Yes, we can barely contain ourselves and the stress. Allan says having a boat built is like having a baby, joyous, but stressful.
The boat's name will be the Swan. We will immediately prepare her for a circumnavigation beginning in May or November depending upon whether we can beat the hurricane season or not. Having cruised bluewater before, I am a fan of going light on the systems. In fact, I have ordered the boat sans some of the stock systems (pressure/hot water, shower, wheel steering, etc.). Allan jokes that he has never seen anyone go into the negative on the options.
We will have a Furuno GPS and backup with simple lat/lon readout and rely on paper charts, many of which I have leftover from the last voyage. We will also have the good old Plath sextant aboard, just in case. We will use a laptop weatherfax from NOAA SSB (ham) transmissions. Other than a handheld VHF, that will be it. The West Marine arm is good. The autopilot will be a Monitor vane steering system.
I totally agree with you about keeping a boat up to stock. Not only will buyers appreciate it and pay extra, but anything else is sacrilegious.