I was in the same situation as you this spring. I wanted to start going in the backcountry and wanted a new rod. I was considering a Winston and Orvis Superfine. I talked to Byron several times by e-mail. Given the amount of money these rods cost, I wanted to be sure I selected the best one for me. Bryon suggested I try the TFO Finesse 3wt. He was right! For the money, it is the best rod I have used for fishing in the SMNP. It is easy to roll cast and provides plenty of strength for the areas I fish. I'm not sure how it would work if I lucked into an 18 inch brown. I hope I get to find out some day, but I have other rods to use when fishing for larger fish. I have learned over the years that a fly rod is a very individual thing. We all cast differently, and people have biases. Some are just Sage people, no matter what. Some are crazy about Scott rods. I happen to have a thing for Winston rods. If possible, you really need to cast a few before deciding. Talk to LRO, they are great!
I don't live just to fish, but I want to fish just as long as I live.