I would not be so quick to write off all of the Japanese bikes. There is a reason there are so many Japanese bikes here. They are good. And more reliable than the Euro brands. While they may not possess the same chic coolness as a Euro bike, you won't have to take it to the shop because its broken once a month.
If you are truly concerned about not looking like a doofus of any kind I suggest the Suzuki SV660. The naked model not the faired S. They are completely invisible and you will not be seen as a doofus at all. In fact you will only be seen when you blow past your big GS riding friends on the twisty bits. They are great handling bikes, that aren't fancy and expensive. I suggest spending a season or two on an inexpensive but GOOD bike (unlike your virago 250) before you dive into something completely new and expensive. The SV is a great educational tool as it's simple around town, but has a great motor and you can really learn how to ride well on it. It is favored by new riders and experienced ones, which speaks volumes about the bikes versatility. Plus they sound awesome.
Pick up a used SV for 2-3 grand and learn with it. No sense if spending 8-10K for a brand new bike that you will inevitably drop at some point. It happens to everyone, and anyone who says they have never dropped a bike is lying, or not riding enough.
PS: I test rode the F800R and hated it. Felt cheap and the plastic parts almost vibrated off during the demo ride. If you look in the "What bikes weren't as good as you expected" thread the F800 has a whole bunch of nominations...
Tim_Tom screwed with this post 12-19-2012 at 09:11 AM