Just last week I was in the market for an HT and had the tough choice, the VX8DR or the Icom D-star one. Went through the same thought process you are going through. I went with the Yaesu because of the lack of D-Star systems in my area. I have to drive 40 miles to use one, and that seemed to be a bit much for me. If you are not going to be able to access one, you might as well not spend the money on it. As for your antenna restricted area, you may want to check one of these for 2/440 http://www.2wayelectronix.com/ I do not have one but they come highly reccomended to me.