OK, after a lot of research and hearing from numerous friends, I've made my decision to go w/
DigiTrax for my DCC system. Yes, I know all about the benefits of NCE, and at the end of the day they're both excellent systems. For my particular situation, I decided DigiTrax's architecture and design was a slightly better fit.
Next step - raising some funds to pay for it! I've decided to sell most of my old Lionel trains - they're all on eBay now. Hopefully they'll raise enough to at least get started. It's a little bittersweet, as there's a lot of memories here, but - as we usually say when we're cleaning - we'll hang on the memories but get rid of (most of) the stuff.
On to DCC!