I'd love to get a 7 string bass tuned the same as my guitars so I could easily play the same parts. My friend has a 7 string made for him by a company called Roter (they have a bad name now though...few mess ups) and it's plays nice. Very comfy neck considering. I started off as a bass player but moved to guitar. Miss that low end though, hence starting to play 7 and 8 string guitars aha.
Jean's Ken Lawrence bass is insane. Gorgeous, but insane.
Yep! I get a lot of younger fans that are interested in the instruments for similar reasons. The haven't invested the time into learning how to play "bass" first. Most of them will eventually either go to guitar (or already play it) or the will just play a chapman stick. I am incredibly protective of the bass =)
Yves is a really cool guy. Jean has been a wonderful help (even though his 11 string weighs as much as a car) and I don't actually know anything about Eric Czar. I am totally going to check him out now.
Sounds like a good approach to have man. A lot of ERB players I've seen seem to have got the basses purely for the sake of having lots of strings. You're automatically going to get more views on Youtube if you have some crazy custom boutique 14 string bass or something aha. The only ERB players I've been interested in (other than you) are Yves Carbonne, Jean Baudin and Eric Czar. Eric in particular writes some great material. Dances between genres a lot too.