I can't be topless - my cats just won't allow it. So, that's not an option.
Having the top modified seems pretty easy, though. I can swing by the glass shop with a cutout drawn on the glass with a sharpy, and they'll cut it out for me for 10 bucks. Glass is easy to work with. So, modifying the top doesn't bother me at all.
Having an HOB also seems a little safer, in a way, because a leak wouldn't drain the whole tank into my office carpet. Maybe I'll do an AC 20 and see how that goes.
I couldn't never live with the glass top resting on a tube
I need everything ship shape, perfect fit, right angles, etc. or I'l never be satisfied.