A couple other things to note... the most recent discussion started on the basis of Lavatools offering a new higher-end / faster version of the Thermowand/Javelin for $58 shipped. It is a brand new unit with no track record of its own. As you point out though, its "little brother" does have a solid track record. So there's a reasonable basis to think that this new offering ought to perform as advertised. Interesting that it has an audible chime to notify when the temp reading has stabilized. Neat feature.
Still, the $25 Thermowand is a good option if you can stand to wait an extra 2-3 seconds and are willing to put up with an extra +/- 0.2F accuracy range (+/-0.7F Thermapen vs +/-0.9F Thermowand).
Especially if you catch one of the Lavatools 20% off sales and get it for $18.75 on Amazon.
Edit: yes, the ThermaPop is a nice little unit, I have one as well, got it as an openbox. A hair slower than my Thermowand but not much; maybe a second behind. Mostly I just find it a little more cumbersome to turn on. Personal preference really, pressing its button vs flipping open the other.