Thanks for the comments guys (keep them coming). I've not yet been able to test sit/ride one that had risers.
But the engine's pretty dang fun, taht's for sure. And the rest of the package, I can see pluses to either bike - enough that perhaps I'll just end up buying whatever I can find a better deal on.
My main concern on the GT though is that I don't want to start out witha platform that I just can't get to fit me comfortable. At 5'11.5", 177, it shouldn't be tough, but - I had an ST1300 that I spent 6 months and too much money trying to get to fit, and it never did. Went to an 1150GS Adv, and LOVED it. Now I want more sport and more tour, and less dirt.