You're doing the same thing I did then, surfing this site for a while before jumping in!
I got the 650 abs, and I don't think I could be happier. Really. It is a great ride, the engine spins freely and willingly up to redline; it's light, handles great, and I can go as far on a tank as I can with my Concours.
I am 6'-5", and I put the tall touring seat on, as well as a Givi shield along with a Madstad bracket. There are two things I would like to be a bit more like the Connie, especially of late. That is lower weather protection, and a larger alternator. I have a ZZR alternator, and I never have to think about what I'm turning on and trying to power. With the 650 you have to be more aware of what you're trying to do. The 1000 isn't that much different in my understanding, although I don't know for sure. The weather protection all over, and especially down low, is legendary for a reason!
Crosswinds are more noticeable on the V-strom, especially at higher speeds of course. Trade off for the lighter weight, I suppose.
I've done a few 300+ mile days on the 'strom, and it's been perfectly comfortable. I don't expect much difference when I do double that like I've done more than a few times on the Concours. I do have a Russell on the Concours, and I'll be doing something similar for the 'strom for the long trips; hey, I'm no dummy!
The maintenance of a chain and sprockets is no big deal. First valve check at 14,500. It's crazy you have to remove the tank to clean and/or change the air filter. EFI is superb.
I put Murphs Shad topcase on the back, and I've yet to decide on a side bag setup, but as you know there are a ton of choices out there.
I would/will buy another one in a heart beat. If you lived close I'd let you take it for a ride. I had the good fortune of renting one for a 1000 mile weekend before having to decide, and it was money well spent. To tell you the truth, I'm probably going to sell my Concours in the spring. I had planned to keep it for the longer trips and lousy weather, but I no longer have concerns about long trip comfort, and the V-strom is just too much fun to ride. I still like the Concours a lot, don't get me wrong, but it's not doing anyone any good sitting in the barn most of the time.
Happy Thanksgiving, and good luck finding a good one. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com if you want to know anything more.