If I understood correctly then, what you are experiencing is the steam condensing on the underside of the lid, then ultimately at least some of it is rolling between the lid and kettle then dripping or rolling down the outside of the kettle? I can see that as being annoying... not a deal breaker, like you said, but it's hard enough keeping everything clean as it is! Does it happen while the lid is just sitting there, or mainly when you lift and tilt it?
I wonder if a silicone gasket along the top of the kettles would help? I can't find the original link, but I saw someone who wrapped their false bottom with a silicone ring. I saved the link to McMaster in case I wound up needing to solve a similar problem. Not 100% sure which one they used in their particular case, but there are a lot of options... Link: http://www.mcmaster.com/#edge-seals/=m4bjpr
If I could sneak in a few more questions... I was also looking at Stout's 1bbl system that comes with 13" legs. I thought that would be kind of low to get the pumps primed good (so I would have to go ahead and build a stand anyway).... Yours though appears to be in the same general neighborhood height-wise. Any issues with that?
I'd like to still have the option to do 10gallon batches. The Stout kettles are only about 5 inches wider than my current ones (15.5g Bayou Classics)... So I THINK that I could still get away with it if I can get everything mounted low enough (would like 2 heating elements in the BK and HLT and Stout appears to stagger them vertically as well as different angles). Think (or know) a small batch is still doable?
I see the RIMS tube in your pics.... Did you go with Stout on that too? They seem to have a nice price on that. Any issues with RIMS hitting your target temp(s) on a 1bbl batch? I use HERMS today on 10 gallons and generally don't do any protein rests or anything "fancy" but would like to leave as many options on the table in the future as possible. HERMS has been great, but I'm questioning it on my next build because I think that it would have quite a bit of lag if I was indeed trying to do any temp steps in the mash. But that's just in my head, not from actual experience.....