Thanks guys - a range of quality comments :)
Dan - Good pick-up on the Tecto, no idea how I missed that one... seems like a good balance between rainshell and hardshell in terms of materials (durability) and weight. Not the best on either count, but a good all rounder, and active shell should be nice. Bicep pocket a bit odd and would prefer napoleon, but that's ok... Strange lack of reviews, all the attention seems to be on the more flagship (I guess) Alpha FL, but you're right that it's not really the preferred option for backpacking (vs climbing).
Soooo, I found one in a medium, nice green for only $240 at Basegear... so I just bought it :) pretty psyched!
Addressing other points for anyone reading in future -
M10 torso cut - agreed, patagonia rain jackets are cut too short. This is not a concern while walking... but bending over to put in tent pegs while not wearing rain pants is a great way to get wet shorts. 'Hip length' cut on the dead birds jacket should be nicer... also longer sleeves :) and a proper slim fit...
MH Blazar / Quasar - OutdoorGearLab absolutely slammed these for durability. Noted, they were climbing in them and being a lot harder on them than I would... but I think they said one started delaminating after one wash? Too risky for me...
Spektr - agreed, I reckon BPL might have been overly harsh.. I wasn't worried about the leaking though as much as the weird closure. Hood also a bit sub standard.
Zpacks - Great in the pack, but I have my doubts about cuben for clothing for extended periods for both breathability and durability reasons. Don't get me wrong, I love cuben for tents and stuff sacks, but I don't want something I have to baby... also 'around town' usefulness is effectively zero. When I'm on a holiday and staying at a backpackers before setting off I don't want to look like I'm cleaning up chemical spills :D
Re step up in breathability - yeah I know this won't be life changing and I'll still be packing my houdini and using as much as possible, but I'm just hoping for a bit more enjoyment (while losing some weight). The 2.5 just feels awful anywhere it's touching your skin once the humidity rises. I like short sleeved base layers occasionally and it just gets gross on your forearms... extra layer of fabric should be nicer.