Thanks for the helpful replies.
Nick: Might try tubeless again at some point, preferably when the weather's warmer, as my last (indoor) attempt resulted in the walls of the spare room / temporary bike assembly parlour being redecorated in Stans when tyre blew off rim. Wife not pleased!
hock: ha ha! that sounds perfect.
Charlie the bikemonger: thanks, that looks like a good idea - you're out of stock btw!
Aidan: Thanks, I quite fancy a go with the EXO Ikons actually...
SSBoggy: Thanks, I've heard good things about Maxxis, though a friend was running Beavers and had problems with them being a bit light / thin. (lots of flints around here) He sustained...would you believe it..."a gash in his beaver".
MTBMatt & Blazinsaddles This is the annoying thing, I think with some tyres there's quite a variance and it's definitely the case with the Schwalbe's, some seem to drop right on and some (mine!) are absolute bu**ers. Sort it out fellas!
reggiegasket: Thanks, some consolation to know that others are experiencing tyre fitting misery too I can't stand reading those posts where people are all: "it popped right on the rim, inflated first time with the minipump and I was away! havn't had to touch it for seven years".