Thanks, you guys are the best.
dtel, I can tell from your photos (realizing those are walnut) that the new cherry finish on the Fortes will be too light for me. I have a room with wood trim and furniture very similar in color to ODS123, your speaker looks amazing. (oh, and nice amp)
From a listening standpoint I'd love the Cornwalls with the 15" direct radiating woofer, but I feel they would be physically too big for the room which is only 13x13. Heresy makes no sense, I'd have to put them up on boxes, I might as well keep my E-V 16a's (40+ years old, woofers refoamed, crossover caps probably dried up, bought them because I couldn't afford AR3's). The Cornwalls would be less of a change for someone raised on acoustic suspension speakers, but I am less into classical now and wanting to feel like I'm at a live concert, and I think the F3's would be fine. And like I said, Cornwalls would just be too big for the room.
It sounds like I have a couple options. Black ash is an option, audio gear can always be black, nothing to write home about, but doesn't clash with anything. Actually, the black ash looks pretty nice on the website.
Or per jimjimbo, I can contact Cory Harrison (are we not supposed to say his company name out loud on the Forum?) about special ordering them in the darker stain. I assume there would be a price bump and an 8 week wait, I could live with that.
dtel, you sound happy with the new stain, so that's good, I guess it depends on the room you're putting them in, as well as personal preference.
I have to wonder though what Klipsch was thinking, it seems like New Coke to me. What if someone is trying to use F3's with other Klipsch speakers for more than a 2 channel setup, you'd want them to match. And how many people will order F3's sight unseen on the assumption the finish is like other Heritage series speakers, and upon arrival, immediately send them back to the dealer? Don't they already have a couple special edition finishes for something like $100 extra? Why not add dark/original walnut and dark/original cherry to the list? If dealers don't stock them, you would have to wait the 8 weeks, but at least you'd have the option, and you'd be aware that the standard finishes are lighter.