Yes the decision was deliberate and thanks for the deliberate pun on my deliberate name.
As the soon to be owner of this next Pangea let me share a little of our decision process. As always, it is a personal preference that is more emotional then logical. This is the culmination of many years research and trials. We have done several multi month trips with TLC and a tent. We lived in a Sportsmobile (Yellow Fella) for two years and loved that experience and vehicle. http://www.pbase.com/oksana_p/sportsmobile. We have also lived 15 of the last 20 years in different countries in Aisa. We have rented various types of campers in locations such as Mongolia, Austraila, and Turkey. All of this helped in the decision of what type of vehicle we wanted for a multiple year full time global travel experience. We made a lot of trade offs in the process. We know our biggest restriction will be height followed by weight that will limit where we can go. I believe we will still be able to go 90% of the places we went in the Sportsmobile. We will use bikes to get into smaller villages. As we get older we also want to have more comforts in our home on wheels. We are happy with the trade off for more livable cabin for extended times in inclement weather versus losing access to some locations due to size.
We like the raising roof because it gives more interior space when open and fully closes off all windows when down. No exposed windows is a nice security feature when left parked for extended time, for shipping, or the occasional stealth camping. Besides I just think it looks cool.
We choose to use a Unimog U500 because their are limited options in the US for a cab over 4x4 truck. GXV found us a great used one with low mileage and all the features I wanted (CTIS, EAS, Vario Pilot, working gears, cold weather). MB trucks global parts supply (outside US) is also a positive factor in our decision on a vehicle for our planned global travels. Most important my wife thinks the U500 is cute and I agree. I test drove one and believe it was as quite and easy to drive as the diesel E350 Sportsmobile we had.