Hoping someone has first hand experience with one of the 7 1/2' 5 wt class blanks and can offer a recommendation. My brother lives back in NC and thinks he has settled on this length and wt for his first build.
My understanding is that a lot of the fishing he will be doing is in super tight quarters that require tight loops and pinpoint accuracy. Also, he will be fishing dropper rigs as well as nymphing and targeting some pretty decent size brown trout in the surrounding area.
My original recommendation to him was a Sig V 9' 4 wt based on the same rational you have. However, many experienced Southeastern fishermen are sold on the shorter 4/5 wt for a significant majority of their angling. This type of rod 'fits' their waters, methods and fish.
Personally, I have no experience with the shorter rods and couldn't make any recommendations based on my knowledge so I was hoping someone here might be able to chime in with some first hand experience.