Doogie it seems to me you’re on the right track. The decision has many factors by the way you seem to be thinking this through.Thanks for your thoughts. You have all the toys.
Right now I'm leaning towards the Spike Flex+ since I brew in my garage (propane and steam venting), but ferment and dispense in my basement, I need to transport my wort downstairs. I think the Spike Flex+ with most of the bells and whistles will fit the bill and I cobbled together a cart for $1001 and I think the only thing I'm missing is a 12"x1.5" TC Spool Tube12"x1.5" TC Spool Tube to allow no oxygen dry hop under pressure. I figure if a 5" x 1.5" sight glass holds 3 oz of hop pellets (not enough), then 12" should hold 8 oz which is a few more than I've been doing and I don't have to fiddle with reducers or using the 4" port that will be occupied by a cooling coil.
I don't have a floor drain and I haven't been harvesting yeast (maybe when I retire) so I don't really need the CF5, and I don't need to drink any more than I'm drinking now, and I like trying new recipes, so I'll stay with the 5-7 gallon size. Currently I have an Anvil Bucket fermenter in a dedicated fermentation chamber as my only fermenter, so ....
I like bracconiere’s comment on buying some t- bills with the money, but that’s just not something we homebrewers do with new-found money!
Having to move your fermenter to basement is terrible, and the older you get the more challenging it becomes. That said, weight and portability are important factors to me. with that in mind, I would not buy a CF5 right now given size, weight, and ability to carry it down stairs. The Flex+ is easier to carry (though Spike says not to carry them by the handles when full).
Don‘t get me wrong, I really like the Spike CF’s and Flex+ fermenters and own each, but I ferment on same level I brew, keg, and serve. You and I probably did a lot of the same DIY work for brewing hardware in the 90’s, so what’s available now is incredible. I decided to go stainless for fermenters years back for a lot of reasons, and conicals are top notch for me - but I admit the cool factor was big part of decision at that time.
Now that my blah blah blah above is finished, if you really want a stainless conical fermenter I highly suggest the loaded Flex+ - and you can check on their Black Friday sale this week and score a great deal.
Final food for thought: if you have to room to ferment in garage or on same level you brew I’d highly recommend a glycol chiller for temp control Instead. I have a Penguin chiller and would not want to be without it. It would even be good to have if you still have to ferment in basement. I’ve used chest freezers, vertical freezers, and refrigerator as fermentation chambers - nothing compares to glycol system and it opens up new options. Minimizes lifting kegs as well.
Hope this helps. Let us know what you decide.