Hi, all. I thought I'd give an update. I went ahead with the Talon standard -- here are a few pictures:http://www.flickr.com/photos/timothymcmackin/tags/talon/
In the end, I used help from several sources, including some kite flying friends and Mark himself. I dug around the internet for pictures of other people's Talons to see what the colors and patterns looked like in real life, and I spent a fair amount of time playing with the default designs in the colorizer. I got a pattern that I liked, and spent some time applying different colors to that pattern, and that led me to the final design.
I'd hoped to fly it some more so I could give a thorough review, but I got only one good outing with it, and now the lousy wind and weather has grounded me for the past few weeks. Anyway, I probably couldn't add much to the discussion on here about the Talon: It's a super-agile roll-up monster even in this beginner's hands, and tremendously fun to fly.
I'm still struggling with the full-vent Rev. I haven't come up with any designs that I really like, plus I flew one of Elliot Shook's masterpiece Revs (the kind that he makes by weaving strips of material together) at CFKF, and that has made my choice much more difficult. My high-wind kite won't see a lot of use, so it's hard to justify buying a top-top-top-dollar kite... but of course I'd rather be flying something great rather than a beater when the wind picks up. Maybe Santa will be generous. ;-)