Zebralight has the H31w on sale now for $49 with free shipping. Best deal on a great single cell HL anywhere. It's already neutral too, so no need to mod it for best outdoor depth perception.
Definitely the EOS. I love this headlamp... it is technically extremely well-executed and also a joy to use.
I don't mind the 3AAA aspect too much. What I like about the EOS, you nailed it: excellent regulation, good performance, no PWM (a big issue for me) and well-balanced for the outdoors. It's also been reliable and waterproof for me. I do agree that starting on high is a weak point on the EOS but the rest of it is so good I'm willing to forgive it.I like the EOS, but would like it better if it was not 3AAA and came on low first instead of high. Every turn on is a triple click to get to low. I still have mine and use it often because it have upgraded it to high CRI SSC P4 and a medium optic - a combination perfect for camping, but I see 3AAA as a less reliable or convenient power source. But thankfully it is not PWM, the downfall of many cheap HLs with low levels. The EOS is a great first 'good' HL with repectable performance and CPF cred.