There are a few issues with the 1st 1800's but I would think they would have them sorted out, if he's looking at new ones.
Another thing is some of the 1st 1800's overheated if you did a lot of parade style stuff... (yawn)
They make more crap for adjusting how the air gets to you on all the goldwings then for any other bikes I've ever owned. windhields with directional vents in the high pressure areas, wind wings that can point air at your crotch or passenger or whatever. ... heat redirects if you want heat in the winter, you name it...
As far as the sound, I don' t like the way they sound stock either... But then again I don't like the way a gsxr sounds stock. I'd get an an aftermarket pipe for it
Mustang makes one. I know cervini made a center pipe for mine that made it sound better... and picked up a couple of ponys,(don't expect the old Kawie 1000 kerker sound)... there is a sound clip of someone who put one on their bike floating around the net somewhere.
Seating dunno... thats another deal...its almost like religion to these guys, corbin makes one... one company even makes one called the road sofa
everyone says theirs is best. I still have a stock one from a 2000 on my 93.
price of factory accessories yeah...I'd probably be using the supplied accessory jack and an mp3 player instead of a cd changer anyway.. there are some online places that sell the factory stuff cheaper but its still big $$$.. cb can be fun on long trips... Truckers are a funny bunch.
If I got one, I'd pick up a backrest, some highway pegs, a pipe maybe a windshield if the stocker didn't work out...and start putting big miles on it , can't do it this year...2005.. 2006 maybe ... dunno.