Damn - wish you had posted this last month, one of the LA Bikers just sold his VStrom 650.
Being a Guzzi fan, I'd put in a +1 on the V7. You don't have to get the racer, but the V7 Classic is still a very usable motorcycle. If you would consider doing light off pavement on something like a Triumph Bonneville, then consider the V7. Definitely call Dave at MotoInternational to see what he can do for you. Also, take a look at what is currently for sale. Also take a look at the Mana 850. If it's not too tall for you, it could be the ticket. Again, depending on seat height, the Husqvarna TW630 is a sweet deal. Darn thing weighs nothing (317 lbs) and is almost too much fun - same thing with the Aprilia Dorsoduro 750. Change out the tires for something a bit more dual sporty and go for it.
Oh yeah, one thing on the V7 - if you are doing a horse power comparison, the V7 comes up short. But, the torque more than makes up for it. The bike may not do 130mph, but it will keep you entertained in the canyons and is very capable on the slab as well.