So I went with the Orvis Ultralights. They ended up checking most of the boxes, and I'm not gonna lie, "free" gift card money played a role, so we'll see how it goes, I'll keep you posted.
I did happen to find this long-term use video for what it's worth. May just be a piece of Orvis propaganda, but looks solid to me.
Outside of the boots, I also picked up these DexShell wading socks. I might be more excited to try these out than the boots. The reviews seem to be uncommonly good for something I've never really heard of before... Perhaps there's a reason for that. I don't know, but guess will find out.
Going to wear them under my keiryu spats the next time out (we haven't talked about that whole subject on the blog yet)... So, if nothing else, the next time I go fishing, my feet should be pampered.