Thanks for the advice. While most music stores up here in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada carry individual strings for sale, I found only one that had an unwound 3rd at 0.024 (D'Addario) which I snapped up immediately. Allow me to further explain....
I seem to remember Stefan Grossman endorsing a set called "Bottleneck Strings" packaged by D'Addario back in the EARLY 1980s which had an unwound 3rd.
Also, in a LATE 1980s instructional video with John Hammond (I think a Mel Bay production), he mentioned that he regularly used a D'Addario set (I don't remember the package name but by then no longer called "Bottleneck Strings") that at the time featured an unwound 3rd.
I have absolutely no connection to any string maker, D'Addario or otherwise, but apparantly of all stringmakers, D'Addario were the only ones in the '80s that seemed to be aware of tonal significance. Sadly, they no longer make pre-packaged sets that include an unwound "G" for those who would explore that route.
Regardless of 1980s packaging....John Hammond mentioned in a recent interview with Happy Traum that he was personally told by Johnny Shines (Robert Johnson's traveling companion) that Johnson used an unwound 3rd. There are also reports of other early 20th century rural U.S. guitarists using an unwound 3rd, including Charley Patton and Blind Lemon Jefferson.
All this amounts to a century-long track record of a number of traditional American guitarists using an unwound 3rd "G" on their acoustic guitars. Personally, I like the separation between highs and lows, and that note bending on the 3rd seems easier.