I tend to be pretty anal about most high $ purchases, and try to learn as much as I can. I learned a lot reading this site along with the rest of the interweb. I almost made a bad mistake installing a heat pump, but fortunately got cold feet and waited.
I came full circle and had new A/C, indoor coil, and replacement gas furnace installed today. Got a Lennox XC21 4-ton AC, CX34-62C coil, and G60UHV-60C-090 gas furnace. This might seem like overkill to some, but a two-stage compressor, and variable speed blower were absolute requirements for me. Not for cost, but for comfort. What made it impossible to pass up were the rebates/tax credits. $1500 tax credit, $1200 Lennox rebate, $350 gas company rebate, $250 electric utility rebate, for $3300 total
The new system has only been on for few hours, and I am totally pumped. I can't even hear it without going in the garage to hear the blower, or outside to hear the compressor. Once it reached temp it has gone into low mode, and done wonders to fix the hot spots in the house. So far I couldn't be happier, so I want to thank all that provide the information available on this site.