A nice note from Tobias, DH1TW, got me in touch with his fascinating blog "Contesting & SDR". As luck would have it, he has a nice set of reviews of a forthcoming SDR kit, the FA-SDR-TRX designed by Harald, DL2EWN, and published in 3 issues of the German magazine "Funkamateur", Oct. - Dec., 2009.
The kit is supposed to be coming in March. I can't wait. It may relieve my frustration.