After some research (through which I learned there is no shortage of techniques for making rain barrels nor in the shear number of rain barrels now on the market), I chose a 60 gallon rain barrel made by a company called EarthMinded. I picked it because 1) it looked good 2) it was comparatively large 3) it looked easy to install and 4) it could be bought through a local conservancy that subsidized the barrels bringing their cost down.
With rain barrels (like real estate) location location location is everything. Screened (at least partially) from the road, I set the barrel just downhill of last year's Vinca planting and just uphill from a bit of grass I intended to overseed (I completed this this past weekend and plan to post on it). I purchased 2 bags of pea gravel, used scrap (ground-contact-rated) 4x4s (further treated) and a spare piece of blue stone. Together, this/these provided a solid, level and elevated base (all very important).