Lots of food for thought!
Having discussed pocket options with Wayne, I'm not sure there is much utility in the pocket modifications I first wanted. The default horizontal-access, upper chest pockets will be fine.
For the lower pockets, I suppose I'll draw out what I want and run it by Wayne. I may not have been clear in our first communications. Basically these would be a second set of handwarmer pockets, only unlined and not needing a waterproof zipper. This is where I would stash spare keys, spare earplugs, etc. Things that I don't need often, and which won't be ruined by getting wet.
Those pockets need to have openings on the sides. There are vertical lower chest pockets on my Tourmaster that I rarely use, because they are just not accessible with the airbag vest in the way. Even without the vest, it's a lot easier to reach in from the side vs. straight down.
I'm inclined to go for the wrist pockets on both sleeves. The left sleeve pocket on my Transition 4 has been indispensable for commuting. Wouldn't hurt to have a right-side one as well.
I'd like to know more about the "clear velcro pocket." I have to physically hand my ID to the gate guard where I work; merely having it visible through clear plastic won't do. As well, those clear plastic panels tend to wear out quickly. But there could be some other use for such a pocket, that I haven't thought about.
I am definitely getting the extra zippered chest vents. Desert environment and all.
Considering the Emergency Information Pocket. It will be mostly covered by my vest, but still, seems like a good idea.
I'm not sold on mesh. While I do want airflow, I don't want to get dried out in the summer. Or freeze, in the winter.
Perhaps it's not clear, but the airbag vest I wear (Helite Turtle) is worn over one's jacket, not under like the Alpinestars Tech-Air system. The fit of the vest can be adjusted by chest straps, and it has huge arm holes. It can therefore go over pretty much any jacket, no matter how bulky.
Having successfully bounced off the ground uninjured, thanks to the vest, I won't be riding without it. The neck-stabilization airbags alone make it worthwhile.
I appreciate the comments on armor, but I'm not sure I need back armor in the jacket. The Helite vest has a very sturdy back plate (hence the "Turtle" model name).