Successful trip! I've got a choice I'm comfortable with.
I visited 6 different places (on top of two yesterday). The suggestions from here really helped me narrow my search.
I didn't find anything I liked at Home Depot or Lowes that compared to the suggestions I like from this forum.
I found an area rug of the Nourisan Cosmopolitan Celestial at the first dedicated carpet place I went to. Unfortunately, the 'Black' one looks pretty 'cool' (it's a dark gray that leans bluish). The Red is interesting, though, and goes reasonably well with my GOM.
At the last store (CDC Carpets and Interiors, a local store). They had large samples of black and red Celestial, the Masland Quadrate, and the Couristan Miami (Marco Island).
I brought them all home, and I like the Marco Island:
My only concern with it was that the pattern might be too eye catching. Looking at it in the theater with realistic lighting (not full daylight, not bright flash), the tan highlights are actually quite muted. It looks great. My wife likes it.
We also like the Nouristan star carpet, but it was going to be $123/yard (installed with good pad). It's wool. The Marco Island/Miami has a better black, and is going to be closer to $50/yard installed with good pad.
The Masland Quadrate (times square) is my other holdout possibility. It's a tad cheaper ($45/sqyd installed), a bit less soft, but it will likely wear better. My sample is so small it's hard to get a feel for how it will look. Big Mouth's is gray (Union Square), although I'm looking at pictures of the black in Sandman's thread...
But I've got it narrowed WAY down to two reasonably priced carpets, both available locally, and I would be happy with either of them.
You guys have been an amazing help!