Hi there. Nice to find another DC area rider in the mix! Regarding the ER6N and Gladius, the two bikes seem close enough in performance that gauge preference might just be a fine preference to go by. There’s a good comparison review here: http://www.motorcycle.com/shoot-outs/2009-naked-middleweight-comparison-88345.html
I agree, the Hornet seems like a great bike. I really like my Versys, but I’d have preferred a Hornet (the ER6N and Gladius also weren’t available when I got my Versys, so I had to go to a quasi-dual sport for a close-ish equivalent of a sport-oriented standard). Now if we could just get more sport standards with ABS.
(Speaking of the Hornet, there’s a gorgeous one that recently went up for sale here in Bethesda: http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/mld/mcy/1291734739.html)