You're welcome on the encouragement. The Widelux grows on you.
If you go to Photobucket.com and do a search on douggrosjean, most of the photos I have at that site are Widelux.
Next, regarding vertical banding.... the guy who works on Widelux is Bob Watkins in Illinois, IIRC his shop is Precision Camera Works. I was told sometimes a cleaning will fix them, other times gear replacement. I went for the gears because mine is so old, and I wanted to do this *one time* and be done and then use it for years.
I don't know what Kodak mailers will do with your film. But local drugstores assure me they can do pano shots, then they soup the negs, and find they can't scan them, and they hand the souped negs back to me in a film canister with no charge. I leave them in a roll, and then I wait till I'm going into the big city (Toledo Ohio) for something else, and have the custom lab there (Castle Photo) scan them and burn to CD for me. Good stuff, I have printed.
Or I scan them myself, but that is slow.
Oh, and many people, myself included, often get decent shots at 1/15 handheld. Amazing but true. I think one of the photobucket shots, at the BMW Square Route Rally, of the audience (I was there as a speaker) was handheld at 1/15. Turned out great except at the extreme edges, and that may have been a focus issue as I had to shoot wide-open.