Please comment on how the prototype feels in the hand. Balance-wise how does it feel? Does your hand tend to "sink in" to the grip? Thumb ramp placement feels good?
In terms of steel. I understand this is still up for debate. Because you work 440C mostly, are more confident in your ability to effectively heat-treat that than newer wonder steels? Would it complicate things too much to offer this in 1095 in addition to whatever else?
Has a finish been defined? Bead blasted?
IMO, you are in a position to weigh in heavily since you, literally, have the blade in hand.
BTW, you are a saint for taking this on. A knife designed by committee... whoddathunkit!