Thanks so much for the suggestions!
I'm still not sure what I'll get - but have far more to choose from than I thought.
Which is a good thing. There are some soft-bodied dollies from Corolle which look fun and not expensive .... The Brio dolls look neat (although dh's verdict is that he thinks they look goofy) - they were hard to find though, kind of hit and miss which sites had them or had many of them. I think the ones which have attached shoes/pants are cuter ... I'd seen the Groovy girls - does anyone know how well their heads hold up? It looks to me like their heads could be "loved" right off (just looking at pictures).
The Only Hearts Club dolls are super! Not something Ina's going to be into for awhile I don't think but -- they'd be great for a couple years from now. Way better than Barbies. And if I buy them before anyone can buy a Barbie, maybe people will be more inclined to just buy Only Hearts Club dolls/accessories if they *must* buy her dolls.
I do like the Betsy McCall dolls' faces - they run about $50 for the basic doll (yikes), but really seem to have personality. I think the jointed knees might be more appropriate for an older kid though (it looks like they could pinch?) - there weren't any age restrictions on them and from what I've read they're supposed to hold up well. They're 14" dolls though (the 8" are cute but I'd think waay too small) --- so I don't know how easy it is to find 14" doll clothes patterns.
I could probably be halfway through a rag doll in the time I've spent looking at all these dolls online!
But -- my to-do list is growing exponentially, the next baby is due in September (the reason the to-do list is growing
) - and when Ina was born, with her reflux and allergies, I was pretty much in survival mode for about 9 months (no sewing, reading, gardening, etc.). We're hoping for a fat happy baby this time, but expecting another refluxer etc. ....So I'll probably just keep plugging away on the sewing for Christmas presents/clothes, the baby clothes I didn't get done last time, etc. before even thinking about a rag doll (not to mention the filing/cleaning/bedroom shifting/gardening). I do want to make a raggedy-anne style doll someday, though.
What's up with Joy's Waldorf dolls? I skimmed some of the earlier messages on this board and it sounded like some people had had trouble with her site/service?
And the Gotz dolls was a great suggestion - the site I found said that they originally designed the American Girl dolls and they have a similar doll called "Precious Day" which IMO looks nicer than the American Girl dolls (even if they can't be personalized to the extent that American Girl dolls can) -- and the American Girl dolls, when I checked their website, listed 8 and up for ages whereas the Gotz ones are listed as 3 and up and washable. And I think about $30 less than the AG's.
LOTS to think about. Fortunately it's awhile 'til her bday and Christmas, so as long as I take care of this before the baby arrives, I'll be fine.
Thanks again ladies!!