Your photo doesn't do it justice--unless the bike has faded. They're beautiful in copper or green. And usually I prefer simpler color schemes.
I rode one a few years ago and it shook too much for me at certain RPMs, for example top gear at just over 65MPH. Maybe that was an individual bike thing, and maybe it could have been fixed.
I mostly liked it, but if I had to choose between them, it would be the Versys. Maybe an R1200R, but they're kinda expensive.
I'd want to avoid a BMW with servo brakes. Don't know if the '04 has them, but I'd check first. They work fine for some people, but some people who have issues with them really seem to dislike them.
It's not a great picture, the previous owner took it. It does have servo brakes, they seem to work well but man are they irritating with that whinning sound every time you pull the lever. A requirement of mine when I was shopping for a new bike was ABS. The Rockster was sort of a whim, I didn't set out to buy one but after seeing one, and then sitting on one, and then riding one, I couldn't resist. What a fantastic riding motorcycle and the seating position is absolutely perfect for me. That said, either the Rockster or the V has to go, I don't have room for two, I still haven't decided which one I will keep yet. As nice as the Rockster is to ride, I think the V is easier to own, it's cheaper to maintain, cheaper to ride, and oddly enough, it runs better. My Rockster needs some attention, cold morning starts are a bitch, I've got to sit in the garage and baby the throttle for 5 minutes before it'll run without stalling. My V has never stalled, doesn't matter how cold, I can just push the button and go.
The V handles very well but seems "twitchy" compared to the BMW. At speed the BMW is rock steady, you lean it into a turn and it stays right where you put it, you could get up and walk around on the seat and the BMW would just finish the turn without your help while the V kind of needs your constant attention to finish things. At slow speeds the V wins hands down. The BMW's 1st gear is just way too high for my liking and the turning radius is just not as tight as the V, makes tight parking lots a bit more challenging but maybe the V has spoiled me with how easy it is to ride slow.
For what I do, mostly commuting, I'm still undecided which one to keep, the BMW is riding joy and the V makes alot more sense.
On a side note, I don't know how you guys with side lid saddlebags do it, they suck. I'm really loving my top loading E21s on my V. The factory BMW bags, while good quality and pretty spacious, have side lids and I'm already sick of doing the "stuff and quickly shut, repeat until my crap isn't caught in the lid" routine. Oddly enough, it may be the luggage that decides which bike I can live with, how dumb is that.
I see the new V has ABS option. Hmmmmm.....