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Thanks all for the thoughts. I had no idea I could do the conversion "a piece at a time" - I will have to call T. Rowe Price and ask them if I could do this. Thanks for the suggestion. I presume it would have to be one chunk per year, and not oftener?

I am 31, in the 28% bracket, and with no idea whether I will be wealthier or poorer in the future. I'm in the publishing business, so great wealth seems unlikely (unless I go work for a dot.com that hits the big time, or win the lottery or Megabucks slots in Vegas, or....don't worry, slot machines are not part of my retirement strategy.) My time till retirement is quite long. The $1700 in taxes would come out of my cash on hand, not out of the IRA itself; but it's money I would miss, as I am trying to grow a little nest egg for emergencies and future house downpayment.

(I'm aware I could withdraw from a Roth for first-time home purchase if the money's been in there at least 5 years, but I don't think that is the strategy I will pursue.)
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