She's still deciding what she's going to buy but I took my part (plus a little extra, heh-heh) and treated myself to two things that I've been considering for a while now. One thing was to have my K2 professionally calibrated by an expert. The other was to buy and build the matching KAT100 antenna tuner.
So, since I live in North Carolina, I contacted Don, W3FPR, and inquired about his schedule and whether or not he entertains such requests. I was delighted to learn that he does calibrate Elecraft gear for those of us who are just a little unsure of themselves. By coincidence, my KAT100 had arrived just prior to sending Don my K2. The build wasn't difficult, but on the initial powerup everything was dead. I did some rudimentary troubleshooting and discovered that I didn't have 5 VDC coming from the voltage regulator. I replaced it, but no go. My eyes couldn't spot a solder bridge across one of the capacitors (frankly, I was surprised that Don only discovered one!), but he found it. Moreover, he discovered that one of the EEPROM's were bad, something that I would have not concluded, I'm sure. So while he tuned up my K2, he also replaced the EEPROM and calibrated my tuner at the same time.
I must say, his rates are very, very reasonable and I'm quite pleased with how everything turned out. I can recommend him with the utmost confidence.
As good as my K2 was before, unless I have a really short memory I have to say that it really seems to have come to life now. The antenna tuner is really a joy to use, but I was a bit taken aback by how noisy it is when it tunes. Fortunately that's a short-lived cycle and since it remembers settings by band and antenna, you don't have to retune very often at all. Compared to my LDG Z-100, which is a fine tuner as well, I have noted that it gets better matches on a few bands, but not so much better that I'd knock the LDG. The Z-100 will now become my portable tuner, if I ever get the urge to carry my FT-857D with me on trips again.