Hi Ted.

Sorry to hear about the theft. With regards to the Hassy, I can totally understand your concerns. I found learning the Hasselbald 'system' took me quite a while and I certainly didn't warm to it after the first roll ;-) Once I spent a little while devouring all the info I could find (including great advice from Steve above) it all clicked. I bought a cheap Sekonic L308s - it handles my flash metering, and I found that the best way to handle lighting (I have a 500cm which doesn't have flash control - the 503cw is different of course with the appropriate Metz controller).

Focussing is not an issue although the screen quality as you and others have mentioned is important. A 503cw should come with a newer style acute-matte which are great. I had a split-screen too but for some reason never got on with it. I prefer the standard version.

I can say that holding a Hassy is almost perfect IMO - I love the ergonomics. Nothing in MF comes close; particularly if hand-holding. As mentioned, you should be able to get your money back on any purchase if it does't work out. I'd just go for it ;-)