Thanks, Frank. I might look into that brim cutter. The "brim cutter" I have used is really a leatherworking tool, and the length you set it at has to be cut freehand, which made for a little damage control with sandpaper...
I actually tried a bit of "Gus" as well as mule kicks, and though it did lower the crown a bit, I found that I like the balance of the hat in the abstract much more with the mesa pinch. I'm not too tall (understatement-- about 5'5") and so I just get nervous when hats dwarf me.
In what part of the CA desert do you live, if you don't mind me asking?
Neo-- maybe my soft spot for TN accounts for our similar taste in hats