Honda is bringing back (if that's the right way to describe it) their 599 for 2006, which is pretty cheap, I think. You might consider the F4i too. How about a used or leftover Daytona 650? Triumphs should be cheap if you can find one used.
Great all-around bike, if pricier and less comfy than the FZ6.
I just rode an '05 R6 about 150 miles yesterday- it blows my mind how smooth that motor is and how buzzy the FZ6's is. It's a shame.
Not to sound like a broken record, but if you can find an '05 Triumph Speed 4, it's what the FZ6 should be. Very smooth, great suspension and brakes, and fairly comfortable. A $300 handlebar kit from LSL makes it a great commuter/wannabe motard.
Yamaha claims this model is "tuned for enhanced midrange" already". I doubt you will be able to tweak it much better than it already is. The usual pipe & jet mods may acutally cost you midrange. Chances are, if you don't like it now, you won't like it ever.
From the sounds of it you want a comfortable, affordable, torquey and sporty commuter. Probably better off with a twin, or triple. You can get an earlier generation Triumph Speed Triple (or other models) for a reasonable price these days. The Buell thing is a nice alternative if you can afford it, stay away from the tube-frame models. Guzzi Breva 750 maybe? Good Luck!
I hate that weed-whacker buzz. The Meriden Triumphs got that resonant buzz above 5000rpm that drove you to religion.
If you don't want vibration the only way to go is a rubber mounted motor spun at the sweet spot the rubber mounts were designed for.
There's no vibration worse than an 850 Norton Commando (OK, maybe the Atlas) at any speed, except when the shims are set precisely at 0.009" gap and you're in 4th gear at precisely 3,765rpm. Then it's dead smooth - no (and I mean NO!) vibration.
If you want more torque, get a twin or maybe the new BMW 650 with belt drive. Or get a great motorcycle (FZ-6) and use the gear box to keep those little tiny pistons flying around the crank at warp speed and "feel the power."
Was that the air-cooled GPz-engined ZR-7S, or the newer "not-quite-a-Z1000 water-cooled Z750S?
The former is a dog, but handled better than it ought to have. The latter is a fine bike, the most powerful of the budget middleweights, and not bad for a passenger, either.
A used BMW roadster wouldn't go amiss, either. No need to be scared off by higher milages; those who can afford to buy them are typically wealthy and anal enough to maintain them. the oil-head 1150 is a good engine, and even the valve checks, though frequent, aren't expensive.