Thank you everyone for the feedback.
I may need to test drive an ebike with pedal assist off to see if the concept is even valid, or if the drag (as motomech pointed out) is enough that I will end up wanting pedal assist just to at least cover the tax of even a lightweig non motorized motor. I did a lot of test rides but don't know if I focused on that aspect sufficiently.
I am somewhat of a very soft version of a solo lycra rider. I do long rides (recreational / exercise) on what was at one point a higher end road bike (older Trek OCLV carbon modified with MTB gearing to help with hills). But, I only do about 250-500 miles a year, and somewhat erratically. Enough that I can do 20-30 miles rides, but infrequent enough that I end up having to walk up the last part of some of the hills because of human motor overheating and giving out. I'm really looking for something to kick in when I would normally give up and walk up the hill (even with the lower MTB gearing) so would take something that gives just a few mph to assist me there. My average speed is slow for road bikes ... 10-12 avg mph for most rides, but I am fine with that.
I also do some mountain biking, and have ended up purchasing (eta end of November) a Frey Hunter to try out eMTB to give that a try. That also gives me the other end of the spectrum (and I will likely use that to run errands and possibly commute in a more assisted pattern), and I went big there (motor wise) because it will open up a lot forest service road riding that I love but have given up on because of just not being up to physically. But, I also want to still do more rec/exercise riding, and want something that will walk the line between helping me get to the top of the hill while still forcing me to do most of the effort. Plus, it looks like it would be fun to do a self build, and I cant think of an excuse to build something that is high powered like what I am purchasing off the shelf. Hence my lightweight road bike project.
Coming back, the Q* ones had looked on point, but had seemed.problematic from a quality perspective...am I dismissing them to quickly? The rollers looked...more concept than practical. I hadn't seen much personal reports on them to make me.feel comfortable with that route.
Regarding front / rear, I am fine with unnatural (at least unless I end up having to accept low level pedal assist after more test riding) because of when I am looking to engage the motor. The installation seemed fine enough, but a lot of motors end up not leaving room for my existing drive train (10 on rear), so it just seemed simpler to not have to overhaul that as well. Plus, given that I am starting from carbon road bike I already own, I want the option of changing the fork out to aluminum if the torque arms don't cut it.
I have been borderline on pulling the trigger on the Bafang G311 from ebikes. I honestly didnt mostly because of wanting a better display than what Ebikes ships with, but maybe should just go that route order a Bafang display elsewhere.
Thank you everyone for the feedback. I'll dig into the different links provided and post what I land on.