I hear you, David, especially on the SE-thing...
Fortunately (concerning that matter) I am not OCD at all, and so I can still appreciate, carry and use PE Spydies for their ergos, blade geometry, steel or whatever (and I mean: I is not like they would not cut VERY well either..
Still: If I could choose, I´d want almost all of my users come in ffg full SE, and since I can´t and don´t want to have too many folders (10 at max in order to really being able to use them all frequently), I really begin to think differently about new purchases: For example: Should I really get another Manix LW in another steel, or should I save my bucks for an SE model that might soon appear? And so on...
Other than that: I found that I want to have my main, day to day, forever keeper folders to have a backlock or CBBL if possible. Not that I don´t like other lock types (I do), but in what I am using every day I enjoy the two mentioned above just the most (and I guess that´s also the main reason why I haven`t gotten a Caribbean yet).
Everything else is really just preferences: For example: I prefer FRN over G10, but if a nice model only comes with the latter, that´s not a deal breaker at all.
Top three going by pocket-time: Endura 4 in VG 10/Micarta-scales; Stretch 1 in VG 10; Endura 4 in HAP 40