And really, this is all just an elaborate distraction from the real core of the problem. Which is: I'm finding that there's a rather large disconnect between the music I write and record, and the music that I actually want to play and listen to. I'll record any number of demos and listen to them over and over and over again, but I can't help but feel that what I'm listening to is not what I should be listening for; which is to say, when I listen to something I've recorded I'll pay attention to the mix, or if my live-tapping on my drum machine is ok, or - more to the point - I just listen to it knowing that I made it and it didn't exist until I created it. That doesn't mean it's good, and that's the issue. I'd submitted pretty much everything I'd recorded to the rest of the band, and it used to bother me that I never really got any immediate feedback. The thing is, when I think about it, I can't really see myself wanting to play any of these songs, either.
This is why getting a kick-ass keyboard, with all the sounds and doo-dads already on it, seems like a better thing to get at this moment in time. I need to write more, and I can't allow myself to get distracted with learning how to use ProTools and, ultimately, worry more about the recording instead of the composing. Not to mention, a good keyboard will most likely come with all of the bare-bones basic midi stuff that one of those $200 jobs will have; AND it could be used live, should the need arise. And really, it's been a long time since I played the piano on a daily basis, and I think it would come in handy more than ever right now.