i have an excel 5/4 with hood. it is a really good suit and has lasted me 4 seasons so far, which is my longest lasting winter suit. i use 7mm gloves and boots too. i usually go through 2 pairs of gloves a season though.
The 5/4 with the detachable hood seems just as good. 2 of my friends have them, the batwing from ripcurl i believe. they dont have complaints.
As for a late spring suit, I am still in my 5/4 in may. Then I go right my 3/2 with gloves/boots in mid-late may on average.
Thanks for the advice- Do you have any idea at all how much $ those excel suits run?