I bought a TLS 8.5', 2pc, 4wt, mid flex during Orvis's buy a rod get a free reel sale. I've only used it a bit out of my pontoon as a second rod with floating line but so far l'm quite happy with the TLS. I bought it more for fishing the local rivers but that will have to wait for the winter run off to settle down a bit first. I'm only beginning my second yr.fly fishing so I really don't want to start trying to analizing the particulars of a fly rod but I did like the feeling of the TLS over the T3 when doing the "wiggle test" at the Orvis store. The flex of the TLS just felt better in my hand than that of the T3 in the same configuration. The T3 was a bit out of my price range so I'm sure that played into my decision as well but so far I'd give the TLS a thumbs up.
I also agree, you can't beat Orvis customer service.
Hope this helps a little with your choice