I missed out. Was in a bait store and happened to be standing next to someone being offered a sort of inside deal on a Lew's Speed Stick TP1. $50.
I spoke up, "Hey, can I get one of dem dere rods for fiddy bucks too?"
"Sure! Wait... where'd the other one go?"
There were two when I walked in. I'd already looked at the price tags, $89. Apparently one was snatched up within the 15 minutes I'd been browsing.
I have shopped around quite a bit, even carried my reel into several stores to mount it on different rods and feel the balance. I believe Lew's is what I'm going to go with. I haven't been able to get my hands on all the rods mentioned here of course, but I've handled quite a few that were even way out of my price range, and I really like that one. Now I just need to pay that speeding ticket or hope it can get disappeared, and keep an eye out for another steal like that.