Okay...so obviously the end decision is mine and mine alone, but I want to hear some other opinions and just bounce some ideas off some good horse minded people.
First of all, I'll explain my preference for treeless. I had an exchangeable gullet saddle that I bought before my horse arrived (my first mistake). I measured her back and she measures (did and still does) as bigger than the extra wide gullet....which is the biggest one. She only measured a tad bigger and the saddle restricted her big shoulders, so I sold it. Good saddle, but not for her. Anyway---I realize the possible issues in treeless and will avoid them properly. I will use a pad with spinal clearance, and try to find a saddle that provides it, too. I only weigh 110 so I don't think rider weight is an issue in itself. Her withers are very low, so I am not worried there...and I've ridden and competed CTR treeless on other horses so I know I can ride in the saddle and do fine.
Okay...here are some I'm considering. I'm leaning a particular direction, but I won't say yet:
1. Barefoot Cheyenne $650 new
2. Barefoot Tahoe $870 new
3. EZ Fit Custom-Made Saddle $850 new
4. Torsion Extra Light $300+ used.
TORSION 15" EXTRA LIGHT TREELESS SADDLE - eBay (item 270720146953 end time Mar-21-11 14:26:07 PDT)
5. Leather Treeless (no-name from UK) $200 new
NEW LEATHER TREELESS SADDLE COSMIC LEATHER-UK 16" & 17" - eBay (item 170610118325 end time Mar-31-11 05:13:27 PDT)
Summary: Barefoot is a brand that I really love the look of but have read both good and bad reviews so I'm not sure about it. EZ Fit is not too common and not as versatile because it can't be passed as an English, but it's got only positive reviews from what I've seen, it seems VERY high quality(a friend has one)...price is a little scary. The torsion is a high quality saddle but I've never ridden in one so I'm unsure. The UK treeless has no brand name so that worries me as far as quality...but the price is wonderful!