Dave is using a long wire , antenna in describing that .I have played with so many different ones and he is right , you can go crazy making this and that then find out it didn't work any better than what you had before . Its mostly for what i want to do or what band my license allows me to talk on.
A Dipole works well ,with an antenna tuner , and for transmitting i just leave it at that. And all the radios he mentioned do make great receivers.
And they make transceivers for about every budget , even some of them have the ability to only have a receiver ,then add a transmitter later if you want and just tie the two together.
For just receiving i like the old tube types because they still have the bands on them the FCC cut out years ago for different use.
Tube types can be bought really cheap on Ebay ,from collectors and they are really tough and don't worry ,Antique Electronics in Arizona sells all the tubes you would need ,and tube testers ,they are new manufacture made in Japan.
In the 80s i listened to Radio Moscow more than i did anything else ,it was like you got a 6 hour jump on any world news ,and it is still to me the best one, and even under the USSR was less slanted than ours were.
Then with the INTERNET the bands got really dead for years ,but in the last two years they seem to be coming back .
But if you turn off your TV because all you see is bad News ,the short wave can be worse except you hear what other Country's really think.
They are really talking about our election and they seem concerned.