Hello there jsclerus. I think you have prob answered your own question within your posting. The trumpet is indeed the instrument of choice for 99% of classical pieces (that have trumpet involvement of course) so if your leaning in the classical direction then a trumpet it should be. The cornet is a great instrument, although its deemed not as cool as the trumpet. Cornets are used in certain jazz settings and occasionally in orchestral pieces Over here in the UK the tendency is to lean towards the cornet due mainly to the tradition in brass bands. I started on cornet but moved towards trumpet (cooler!!!). Not so much big band stuff around over here but as there is still a lively brass band scene I still do play in a brass band (but play my trumpet at home more that my cornet). The music ranges from easy to extremely tricky, and I must contradict the guy who feels the orchestral stuff is more demanding. I did a spell with an orchestra and could'nt handle the 320 bars rest to play your 8 (if it floats your boat go with it, it was just not for me!!!.....Oh and the strings were/are so uptight.....IMHO....chill guys). Go with whatever instrument is required in your choice in musical style. You can always get the cornet (or trumpet) at a later date to play as an alternative and to add some variety to your playing. Good luck.