You make some valid points. I've been mulling it around and I'm split 50/50 on going scale, since I enjoy a scale model, or going hobby grade for the thermal reasons you stated. Of course, I wonder just how much thermal flying I'll find in Maryland. My point being, there aren't a whole lot of gliders in this part of the country.
Also, I'm not completely focused on thermal flying. It would be a bonus, I guess. I'm leaning towards a powered glider for the days where the wind is a bit too much for my typical flying style but would be perfect for a glider. Thoughts?
Thanks for the insights, this is really helping. Any other recommendations are welcome.