I've been looking at pegoretti's for ages. The Emma is the ideal bike for my riding style. But finding one or waiting for one are not really options. I worried about the Respo not being stiff due to it being made of XCR. Strong, rustproof, but also quite light. Light and stiff don't usual go together with steel. Plus, it's listed as a comfortable ride. Again, comfy and stiff don't usually match up with steel. I have looked at the Duende and do like the idea of saving $2,000. But I live in a coastal community with salted roads all winter. Stainless steel just simply makes sense. I do appreciate the input.
I would not worry about a respo being a noodle... I would worry about the BLE being way too stiff for you. I have a Marcelo and it is super stiff, I ride a 61cm.