Well, it took a while to finally happen, but I landed the LP Tribute. It's a long story, suffice it to say the seller kept having second thoughts. But it ended well for both of us - he's happy he sold it to me; I was very happy to get the LP.
When I got it home and immediately got even better sounds than when checking it out, I knew it was the right move.
I cannot thank you all enough for the advice to buy the Phatty. (I did make a donation to VSE though.) Aesthetically I love the the look of the Tribute. Even though it would take a trip to the factory to get the OS up to Stage II specs, it's worth it for how good it looks.
Most importantly, the sound is in another league from the rest of my gear. I had a hunch VCOs would be my thing, and what a joy to have them in such a well-designed instrument. My last purchase was the MEK, and I'm going to play them side by side and see whether the MEK compliments or should be traded for a CP-251, Foogers, etc.
Micromoogs can be great, but I am 100% convinced the one on offer was a hunk o' junk. I'm going to post details of what it would have cost to fix and the rest of the buying process, just so it's there for future reference. For the right price I would have gone for it, or at least one of its brethren in better shape.
Again, many, many thanks!