Well, I pulled the trigger yesterday. I "bought" a Dora. Actually, I committed to buy one when they come, which is now estimated for April-May, although I hear Accucraft US has a rubber calendar.
I did contact Bellflower about the Cricket, and they said they could build me one in about a month's time, but I'm still a bit hesitant given the history. Besides, at $400, the Dora seems a better way to "get my feet wet" in live steam.
"It is one of the happiest characteristics
of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably
regarded as unanswerable."
-Sir Joseph Porter, First Lord of the Admiralty (HMS Pinafore)