Anyone know any significant difference between the Kenwood TS-450s and the Kenwood TS-850s (both with AT built in)?
There are some substantial differences. I own a TS-850S/AT since new in 1990 and have owned the TS-450S/AT also (but no longer). Observed differences:
850S has 3 AGC settings, plus "OFF." 450S has no provision to turn off AGC.
850S has full CW QSK (if you turn off the amplifier keying relay); 450S does not offer this.
850S has a modulation monitor so you can listen to your own modulation on SSB; 450S doesn't.
850S has an IF notch filter; 450S notch filter is AF (audio) only.
850S has high-cut/low-cut IF slope tuning; 450S lacks this feature.
850S has built-in CW keyer standard; 450S doesn't.
850S has an optional plug-in digital voice recorder; 450S doesn't.
850S is easier to integrate with external VHF-UHF transverters, if you wish to.
As I recall those are the main differences.