Check this out North Carolina. I used to commute from Monterey, CA to Santa Clara, CA 4 or 5 days a week, 72 miles one way, for several years. I didn't even own a car for a few of those years. Now, how important is speed when you are commuting? I'm asking this because of some of the choices in your list, the CBR250, and whatnot. I commuted on an SV650, a CBR1000F, and a Triumph 955 Daytona. The SV was cool. But the big bikes, got good gas mileage when cruising at steady state speeds, say 90 or 100 mph. The SV cruised real good about 80 or 90. I'm not sure the police presence where you are located, but there were none at the commute times when I was out there. SoI tended to roll pretty fast.
But one thing I noticed about riding big bores those long distances, was that they were very comfortable, and there was very little stress on the engine. Something to think about, maybe getting a used Z1000 or something of the sort with very low miles, For $5000, you can get all kinds of good stuff.