You had a 749S, a superbike which you didn't race or put it on the track.
Your riding is casual and mostly on flat ground with Some highway riding and some prowling around the suburbs...
The 696 isn't a cruiser-type motorcycle but a naked one.
Mate, just get a scrambler and be done with it - and i'm not being condescending.
Plus, it's more of a "cruiser-like" bike compared to the monsters so that might be a + for you.
Same weight (scrambler is a bout 3 Kg's lighter), softer suspension, good enough brakes (more than adequate) and a comfier riding position compared to the 696/796/1100.
The 696/796/1100 need a valve adjustment every 7500 miles and a belt change every 15.000 or
2 years - whichever comes first !
Jackie T might be right but, from what you wrote
, you won't even need the 80(696)/85(796)/95(1100)/100bhp (Evo) my good man- unless you want to reach those "triple digits" on those straights on the 'burbs which...there's no need to really.
The scrambler is classy, classic (looking) and its general performance is more than enough for casual Sunday strolls (and not only).
Granted, a used Scrambler might be more expensive than a 696 but if i was looking for a bike right now to do that kind of usage you described i'd seriously consider it, in fact, it might be the most versatile bike in the Ducati line-up, the fact that you could do some light trail riding (due to the pirelli scorpions and softer suspension) is also a big + in my book.