"Problem is I can hear the league weasels now...." I have found that if I don't say anything about new equipment, my playing companions don't even notice it. They are too intent on concentrating on their own games.....in your case, since you're talking about putters, they will be reading their putts while you are (hopefully) sinking putts with your new weapon. If anyone "accuses" you of using a belly putter, simply show them that no, you are not anchoring any more, and have gone back to your old standard length Rife 2 bar! They'll never know the difference. Good luck.
I plan to experiment with counter balancing myself this winter (see my thread on Tour Lock weighting). From everything I've been reading 50 grams seems to be the right place to start. It sounds as if I should also add about the same weight to the putter head as well.
Good topic....golf is my release, it is what i do to clear my mind, to a certain extent the golf takes a back seat to the release. Many times i will find myself completely devoid of any serious thought at all and I'll have to think about where i am on the course or how many strokes it took to get around (i do not carry a scorecard and often tell others in my group not to keep my score)...most of my rounds are solo, but have increasingly been playing with others...very enjoyable either way. To me its a walk in the park.