The inability to play a variety of banjos is a problem. The Internet has killed local music stores. The few remaining stores tend to stock the lower cost instruments. It seems like a real leap of faith to spend $3k on something you can’t try out. Without the ability to try out different brands and models how can a player make an informed choice? Recently I had the opportunity to try out a few banjos that a local player owned and I noticed right away the neck thickness was significantly different between banjos. I know that Deering makes a banjo that reportedly replicates the pre-war Gibsons. The difference (I think) is primarily in neck thickness and fretboard width. I recently visited their factory, but the highest end banjos were not in the banjo showroom. I could have asked to try one, but since I knew I wasn’t going to buy one, I didn’t want to waste their time. I did try out a number of their other banjos and noticed differences in their feel and weight. Some people like radiused fretboards, have you considered that?
A forum member had a custom Bishline made and it looked good. Huber is a popular brand, but I’ve never seen one in person. I guess i could have summarized this post by noting that there are differences in banjo weight, feel, tone, and neck profiles. For guitars and mandolins people talk about variability between instruments, I don’t know if that exists in banjos but I would guess that there is variability in fretting. Because you already own a banjo you don’t have to rush a purchase. I’d look around, attend festivals where manufacturers display their products, and really get to know what you are looking for. Ben sells Huber and Stelling, probably can get Deering too so if you decide to buy new those are options. You can still buy from Ben’s store and have the added confidence that Ben’s satisfaction guarantee provides. You never know, by looking around you may decide that at $2k banjo suits your needs - or more likely that a $4k banjo is what is needed. Good luck with the search.