Thanks, I go under the house and the 1/2" goes in today. (we need an emoticon on it's back with water dripping into it's face, no?)
As for the low flow fixtures - I've found that the quality of the low flow fixtures is hugely important. Some are just a weak imitation of a high flow (unrestricted flow?, high flow?, old style flow?) fixture - drilling these out returns them to their original specs. Others, were designed and built from the beginning with the idea of the full water experience for the user and to use less water to achieve it. Typically these have no restrictor.
You can't grab the first or the cheapest shower head you find and get the excellent shower experience that we're all looking for. But there are shower heads that will give you that and use much less water.
Many places have shower head ratings - Consumer Reports
is my favorite but it does require a subscription. Amazon
is another with several 1.5 GMP heads getting 4.5 stars (these ratings are from end users who we presume have used them not government officials or guys in a lab coat looking from the outside)
I too have mixed feelings about these "water nazis" but the alternative is a free market where you can use as much water as you want but the price will go up until the demand decreases to a level that can be supplied. On my utility bill water is one of the cheaper items and I suspect it would need to get a lot more expensive before the price alone would curb demand.