Thanks for the reply ApK. Unfortunately, the selection of devices I can test in person is limited to nonexistent, or else I would've tried that before asking for help. I'd definitely consider a Kindle, although I've consistently heard that the Kindle software handles PDFs very unsatisfactorily.
Also, just out of curiosity, what would you recommend as a minimum screen size for comfortably reading 8.5x11" PDFs? Do you think a 7" device in landscape mode with the document resized to fit the width of the screen would be reasonable?