Oh, boy do I hate to read these posts. I just completed a top-down cardigan with Malabrigo, it was a 'joy' to work with and eeeek, I live in the Dallas area. Agreed, since I am somewhat of a newcomer here, I have yet to see days cold enough to require much outerwear. I have hopes, sometime soon, of leaving this area, back to a desert climate, even though warm (sometimes hot) in the daytime, it generally cools off at night. However, now and then, in our two-plus-years here there were a 'few' days in the depths of January something warm around the neck might be nice.
Splurge! I don't know about the pilling of the yarn, have yet to wear and experience that, but I do know it is a pleasure to work with. Good luck on your decision.