You could still opt for 17 gauge. I haven't tried it, but from the posts I've seen of those who have, they say it plays quite a bit better than 16. If that doesn't interest you, give the Mantis a go. It's low powered for sure, but its durability (or lack of) may turn you off. You string for yourself?
Need help finding lost dog: walks with a limp, recently castrated, can only see out of one eye - answers to the name, "Lucky".