At least with the 897D it can manage to do just about anything, it may not do everything great but it gives me a chance to see where this hobby leads me.
That's the raison d'etre of "shack-in-a-box" rigs -- they let you try most anything you want. And they do most things pretty well.
Until sunspots get a lot better, 40m is your best bet for "tech CW". Especially around 7.100-7.125. The "slow CW" region was around 7.050. and is OK for Tech licensees. The FISTS calling frequency is 7.058. If you don't know about FISTS, you should -- it's very useful to new CW ops:www.fists.org
One piece of unasked-for advice:
. . . Upgrade to General.<g>