Well, I did it! After 2 years of searching for "The One" I finally found her and brought her home. She's affectionately referred to around our place as Delores.
Before I started my search I set strict requirements for consideration. If the prospective bus failed to meet any of my requirements, it was cut from my list of possible purchases. It had to be mechanically sound, needing not one single thing to run itself down the road safely. I wanted a Gillig or a Crown, because the wife said it needed to "look as little like a school bus as possible", and I'm a sucker for the classic appearance of these busses anyways. And, finally, it had to be a completely functioning school bus, seats and all, in case we decided to sell it, because sometimes life just happens.
Delores has a super clean 6V-71 Detroit, brand new steer tires, a brand new air dehydrator and was very reasonably priced at $3k, 25 minutes from home, too!
It will be a while before I start any part of the project, as I intend to spend the next few months nailing down a plan of attack by reviewing other builds, new ideas and the space I have available to work with.
Here she is: Everyone, meet Delores!