i wanna upgrade my 8 speed to a 9 speed and i have decided to go with sram shifters/deraileurs (x9 or x0). i haven't decided on a cassette to go with all this yet. just looking for something that shifts well. weight is important, but not a priority.
It's really 6 to one, half -dozen to the other. The new SRAM PG-990 has a badass-looking red-anodized spider, and the Shimano spider looks very similar, just black. I have used both, and they both shift very well, however, I have experienced far better wear with my SRAM PG than the Shimano I run now.
I have both on my bikes, an XT on my marin, and a new 990 on my ironhorse. They are both nice, and both around the same price, i think the sram will be a little more durable though because the gears look more reinforced.