For anyone who has not seen this, I just stumbled across Geert van Gele's website at http://www.geertvangele.com
He was a founder member of the Flanders Recorder Quartet and has written a book called Thoughts on the Recorder that looks interesting - I have not bought it but I probably will, in which case I will report back (unless anyone else who has already read it can do so first). Accompanying the book is a whole series of youtube videos: they are linked from his website or you can just search youtube. I've only had time to watch a couple of them but they seem good.
I watched the first one about choosing an instrument, and he played a couple of ebony ones and a couple of maple ones, and I was thinking "oh dear, they all sound much the same to me" so I particularly liked it when he said at the end something like "they all sound much the same so buy the cheapest". It compensated me for his classification of levels of ability. He gives 3 levels; level 2 (advanced) is more-or-less "can play all the serious baroque music without difficulty", which makes it hard to imagine ever graduating from level 1. At least it means I will only ever need a basic factory-made instrument. He's not keen on plastic though.