IMHO the stock teryx isn't much faster then a rhino.
you can get quite a bit out of the engine if you choose to build it, and it does sound awesome. But I don't like the design, and wouldn't buy one - but thats just me.
I'd almost wait and see what Yamaha is planing to do - they are said to be announcing the new models in a few months, I'd hate to by a Kawi now only to find out in 3 months that Yammy is coming out with a V-twin powered machine.
I can't really say anything about the Artic, haven't seen any of them.
I understand about budget, and the Kawi's are cheap.
If I had to choose between a few mph and the ride of a long travel - give me the slower ride with the long travel. Its easier and cheaper to make a little more power, suspension is never easy/cheap.
08 700 SE
and some quads and a KTM