My reason not getting the Varadero, whitch acctually was one serious candidate, was the excessive fuel consumption, the centre of weight felt strange to me and too much plastic on it, felt strangely too soft indeed, but that wasn't that bad. Touratech and other extras seem to give GS a bit more advantage, altough you can get basic need for both, no prob.
One of the main reasons going to GS was slow revving engine with high torque output on low rpms (no need to stress the engine two up full of luggage, so assumably it dyes slower than others on long term reliability), telelever suspension for addtional driving comfort and shaft drive cuting completely out chain maintenance that i really don't like.
This was my experience/view about it when i had to choose - I was in the price range getting R1100GS, AT or older Varadero or Tiger. I was 49/51 with AT ang GS in the end, just looked for a better offering that came from GS side. I'd be very happy with both i guess.
[This message has been edited by Margus (edited 05 February 2005).]