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I just did some testing on something similar to this today using cacheAsBitmap. I would suggest trying it first in Flash if you feel up to it. Then if you still dont like the performance results look at using another option.
Drawing directly in Flash is how I was getting the best performance.
I agree with Mattandie, you're better off bringing complex gradients in as an image, I've tried bringing complex gradient meshes in from Illustrator and you don't get the best results...
Illustrator imports graphics as multiple groups. If you take the time to break up those groups into one solid shape (complex or not) it can greatly improve performance, sometimes to the point where you see no difference between using cacheAsBitmap and not using it. You just have to pay attention when you break them up because sometimes some of the points can get lost.