Sorry for partially hijacking ironslinger, so I'll try to answer your questions. I think a Gleaner is a fine combine, we bought our L2 in 2007 to replace a Massey Ferguson 550. We bought it with about 3000 hours on it, but Gleaner hour meters seem to like to quit working. It has the big motor (158 ho 670T) and 5 speed manual transmission. We use a 20 ft flex and as seen in the picture a 4 row corn head, but last month we just bought a 6 row. Capacity wise it is a nice upgrade; the 20 ft head is a nice fit in wheat and soybeans. We used a 4 row because it was priced right and we don't grow much corn (about 50-70 acres). The tires do drive on top of the rows and just hang out a little past the header (tire size is 23.1 x 34). We had to create our own power lift ladder out of some rope so it wouldn't take out the corn row. In corn 150-180 bu/ac in 1/4 to 1/3 mile rounds the bottom part of the hopper would be full and slightly onto the extensions. Last year was not a good year in terms of break downs, but so far this year through 160 acres of wheat it has been running like a champ. If I was making the decision with the budget that you've got I'd go for an L sized combine. I think you could get a combine, 20 ft head and 6 row head for that price.
Jason, the tractor is a 9700. We also farm with Fords and have a 5000 and TW 10.