David - interesting take, thanks for your perspective.
No, I don't own any JL Audio products yet. I was considering Fathom F113, as they have been highly praised as top-tier subs (overtaking Velodyne) on some other large AV forums. It certainly does appear the sub landscape is changing, as you point out. You are right, this is only a (smaller) 13.5" driver, but there is 4" woofer excursion giving 6.3L (386 cu inch) of effective displacement, which outperforms many larger size drivers.
I do want to stick with a sealed sub (not a massive ported) as there is a degree of WAF/asthetic requirements. Need two subs in a couple corners to smooth out some low frequency dips in the room I have identified with REW. Use is 70 % home theater / 30% music. Space is L-shaped room, total 3600 cubic feet (but open stairwell to upstairs). Primacoustic London 12 acoustic treated space (bass traps and absorbers as highly reflective room). Listen at -10 dB reference. (ability to achieve THX spec 115dB peaks @ 30-60Hz would be awesome)
DIY is not an option (maybe one day..).