An update on my e-bike project, for anyone shopping for a conversion:
I bought the BBSHD kit from Luna Cycle, based in Southern California, along with their 11.5ah Panasonic 48V battery, and "Lunagizer" charger (fancier charger that's supposed to be better for the battery life). Came to about $1200 total. Kit came with the motor, some bottom bracket spacers, display, thumb throttle (upgraded to a "universal" Bafang one for $5), two brake levers with motor cutout wiring, battery + water bottle mount cage bracket, wheel speed sensor, and the wiring harness to plug it all in. No instructions were included, but Luna has links on their website to installations w/ instructions and pictures, so that wasn't a problem.
I installed it onto a Schwinn hybrid -- 700c wheels, aluminum frame, steel fork. Took about 2-3 hours total to install. Very easy, overall -- much more so than my experience with the Dillenger rear hub motor.
- battery mounts/unmounts very easily into its bracket. There's a key that extends a nub to lock the battery into the bracket.
- took a little fiddling with spacers on the BBSHD motor "fork" bracket, to make sure it lined up perfectly. No big deal.
- for a 50# bike, it handles like a normal bike. Having the motor and battery mounted centrally and low down made a big difference, vs. the Dillenger kit (rear wheel motor and battery mounted onto rear cargo rack -- all the weight was to the rear, and higher up).
- pedal assist feature works acceptably. Throttle response is immediate. Brake cutout works well. I only installed the left brake lever, since my right lever is integrated with the rear shifter.
- stock 46T steel chainring is very ugly and heavy, but should be durable. Gearing is fine with that chainring and a 11-32 8-speed cassette (came with the bike).
- battery is sufficient for my commute, going one way (about 18-19 miles). I haven't tried a round trip without recharging, but I can charge at work easily. I think the BBSHD is kind of power hungry. OTOH, it makes pedaling up steep grades a breeze, with pedal assist at 1 or 2. At 3, 4, or 5, I can't pedal fast enough, and it feels even more like cheating.
Luna Cycle's customer service has been great. Emailed questions are answered within a day -- sometimes within an hour or two, even on the weekend.
I'm very satisfied with the kit.