I’ll take your comments one at a time on this one:
1) There is only one Pirastro Gold Label (it’s the same E-string included with Wondertone sets, so you might see that name also associated with this single string). They’re known by most to be bright and sweet with really good projection.
2) Try one of the three E-strings I mentioned for now – can’t go wrong. Since you’re on a trial with this instrument, spend more time just playing it, getting to know its natural resonances, and allow the strings and wood to settle as you play.
3) I currently have a Hill E on my 5-string Damiano. It’s solid. Don’t get caught up in the discussion on the Review site. Don’t worry about how people report whistling on the site. That particular E-string phenomenon is almost entirely related to bow technique. Since you’re still developing yours, it’s unnecessary to have that as part of your consideration at all.
The biggest piece of advice I can give you, Westley, is don’t get too caught up in the details right now, Yes, you’re making a decision on your instrument, but you’re also developing technique. I guarantee your violin is fantastic and will serve you well for a long time. Take these 30 days to get to know it and finalize your thoughts on making it a permanent relationship.
PS – Glad to hear you’re keeping the Pietro with it.