After MUCH debate, countless test drives, overnighting vehicles, and crunching data... we've settled on the RX350. A short blurb on each of the finalists:
Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon- in the end, I couldn't justify needing that much room- and that had to be a necessity given the vehicle cost, insurance, and relatively poor gas mileage. This IS GM's best overall vehicle in a long time IMO; but even with the fantastic pricing I got (well below invoice) it wasn't quite enough. If I had kids, a boat, etc. it stood a better chance.
Acura MDX- they are simply blowing the 06 models out the door in preparation for the 07s; I was cutting into EVERYTHING with the dealers... incentive, holdback, etc. and easily getting ok's of only $300 TRUE profit to the dealer, bringing loaded Touring versions down into the mid 30s. Only 1 problem- after driving it for an hour, I hated how it felt. Probably the stiffest seats I've ever sat in. Backseat did not recline and is set at a poor angle IMO, almost straight up. It was also gnawing at me that my 03 Accord had practically the same bells and whistles (and in some cases better versions) as the 06 version of Honda's lux line. Had this been more comfortable and had a couple more items I wanted it easily would have been our pick, as my wife loved the roominess and comfort factor, and the price was great. However, the things above- coupled with the 2 worst dealership experiences of my life (and the only Acura dealer within 80 miles, so my only choice if I needed warranty work done) soured me on it.
Lexus RX350- there were many reasons I didn't want to like this. The most expensive choice on our list. Egg shaped. The least amount of cargo space. The fact we'd be buying a new Lexus in our 20s (brand connotations I didn't want, similar to what BMW owners have to put up with). I intentionally checked it out first hoping it would fade once I saw other things- it didn't. When I got in, I didn't want to get out. Everything I envisioned us using it for- daily driver for me, escorting friends/family, vacations, golf outings, shopping- it was perfect. The worst thing I can say about it is that the armrest should be a center console instead of attaching to the chairs. Considering how picky I am, that is quite a compliment. Lexus wins.
I'll post a pic when I get it... thanks a ton for everyone's help.