So I ended up between a rock and a hard place - I had a list of things I needed, Dick Blick had all of them but the bars. I angsted, I wished for the millionth time that Jerry's didn't have such high order minimums, and ultimately I ordered Dick Blick's house-brand heavy duty bar rather than pay double shipping ordering from two places.
I feel well-rewarded for the faith as it turns out; the Dick Blick bars are.. actually very good! Wow. They look like the pictures.
:lol The wood is smooth. It's lighter than the Fredrix bars - pine instead of fir? - which is fine. Very smooth all over. One bar has some chipping on the end that I'll touch up, just in case it was visible through the canvas. One bar had a *very* slight bow - not visible unless you're looking for it, e.g. holding the bar up to eye level and looking down it. Flush corners, and NO SPLINTERS - my hands rejoice!
I still want to try the Richeson bars, but for the moment I'm chuffed.