...my bottom line conclusion is that these are one of the all-time great "hidden gem" optics, and at the prices they run used these days (if you can find one!) they are one of the very best optical values around.
I agree. I have the 8x42, and in my opinion the view is very nearly as good as the HD+, with just a touch more lateral CA at the edge. I got mine from someone in Australia, as I recall.