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Welcome to MLS!  Or maybe welcome back :)

I haven't scratch built anything yet, but when I get more time (insert retirement) I'm planning on lots of that.

Nothing wrong with being a rivet counter, just implies you have a greater sense to detail.  I wouldn't call myself that mainly because I don't know enough about the locos and rolling stock to be one.  But I do appreciate the higher detailed locos and rolling stock that some manufacturers provide, of course at a premimum.

As far as G being toy like, you may not have seen the recent loco from Bachmann, the K-27, or offerings from Accucraft, or Aristocraft (for deisel).  You have to look pretty hard to find something not right.  However, I think what makes G different from other scales is it seems like folks have more fun and even have whimiscal trains.  The smaller scales it seems folks take things a bit serious, nothing wrong with that, it's just not for me.

Looking forward to seeing progress pics of your loco!
 
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