Most of my activity will be on short WI routes - there are numerous waterfalls and wet rock faces within just a few miles of my house. Many of them are vertical rocky creek banks that provide WI3-4 climbing 10-30' tall, and I can top-rope most of those. I will be going to the Adirondacks and Catskills on ocassion as well, for moderate alpine climbing. That's a once-a-winter kind of trip for me, though.
I don't see anyone arguing against a Sum'Tec or Venom for Washington and Rainier - they just cost way more than a SnowWalker or Raven. If I was doing moderate WI alpine routes I think the technical alpine axes could really do it all, but it sounds like they'll fall short for my weekend attacks on fairly hard (but short) ice pitches.
I also agree that technical tools + ice ax is about the same money as a set of technical alpine tools - especially since they are new and not available used. I could very easily get lightly used Vipers and a Raven for $300, probably $200 if I shop for a while.
I see used Ravens selling for so cheap ($40) it seems silly to not add one to my kit, so I have something for self-arrest. If I end up replacing it with a more technical tool, I could just sell it.
Crampons look to be a home-run, however. It looks like most people agree Sarkens, G12s, or maybe Sabertooth crampons all should do everything I need with minimal comprimise.
Thanks for all the help! I'd steer us to ice ax length, but I think there's been more than enough written on that topic already - I'll just search and read.