Terry and All,
Boy Terry, you convinced me all over again that I wouldn't want one of those rigs!
Yes, I am sure it is a competent radio in most respects. However, the negatives are pretty glaring in my viiew.
No XIT is a biggee! Not for everyone perhaps, but if you chase DX it probably is. When you are QRP you need both the RIT and XIT to sneak into spaces where you can be heard.
I am still totally astounded that the rig omits 12 and 60 meters. Maybe most don't venture onto 60 meters yet, but they may eventually. 12 meters is a critical band, again if you are at all interested in DXing. As a WARC band, it is also a refuge from contests you don't care to participate in.
As an aside, last year at Dayton the new Ten-Tec owners were very visible at our FDIM gathering. One of them overheard me commenting to someone else about my 35 year romance with Ten-Tec that had sort of ended. He was very interested in hearing more of what to say, so I told him. When I got to the part about questioning the rationale of omitting 12 and 60 meters on the Argo VI, he nodded his head as if he totally agreed with me. I think his reaction was sincere and not patronizing! I also have a big problem with the ergonomics on many of the more recent Ten-Tec offerings, and he seemed sympathetic with those comments as well.
I wasn't even aware of the keying issue you mentioned, but that would be a deal breaker for me also. Actually, that rather surprises me.
One thing you didn't mention was that, for Field Day, the Argo VI isn't that great a choice considering its RX current draw. If you plan to operate 1B-Battery, you may want to use a different rig.
A lot of the issues I have with the Argo VI is that I think they were intent on "simplifying" the radio. I think they overdid it! The front panel is bare bones to a fault. For example, I really want fast access to some adjustments (like power and keyer speed), and you no longer get that on a lot of Ten-Tec rigs. I have a prediction as to when stripped down front panels like this will make sense. That's when we "marry" radios to voice recognition software! Then you can just speak a command to make various adjustments on the fly! Until then, we need to get our fingers on certain adjustments, and quickly.
Notwithstanding the above, I have listened to an Argo VI, and it does sound very good! If you can get around all the nit-picking, it's a pretty good radio!