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Typeface suggestions for this spec?

So I need a display font that can be used in a logo and probably in the staple brand typography. I'd love to get something bespoke done, but there is no time and very little money, if it can, it needs to communicate:

-Internationalism, as in have broad international appeal
-quality (of course!)
-academic excellence

-as an alternative to internationalism, London.

Really, I am looking for people to pot-shot fonts that are distinctive, ownable (ie not a Helvetica or Dax type font that is used by loads of companies), something that can be used in typographical treatments that will have enough character to be recognisable and 'ours'.

We are currently revising our website, which uses Verdana for most of the body copy and navigation etc. My boss thinks that using arial instead is a great idea, and despite my protestations that Verdana was designed for the web and screen and arial is a dirty Microsoft knock-off, designed only to save money, he needs some convincing. Put on the spot I mumbled something about Verdana being more accessible and legible on screen and more efficient, but as I'm not a typographer I thought I'd ask for help from the real experts.

Can someone help me out with some solid reasons that might convince a typographically illiterate person that the choice of font for the web IS important, and that Verdana is preferable to Arial in this case?

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