I bought one recently (and it was $15 at the time at Nashbar). The clutch is indeed silent. The hub is also quite heavy - noticeably heavier than a couple of 105 rear hubs I've got sitting around. But it should be durable enough.
Does your bike have rear spacing of 135mm?
The Nexave hub is 7-speed cassette, 135mm spacing, which would build into a very strong wheel for heavily-loaded tandem or touring riding. So would any other 7-speed MTB hub, and 8-speed hubs would be fine as well.
I don't think there's any reason to single out the Nexave hub in particular, unless you're a "stealthy cat" as Nashbar describes. I got it cuz it was cheap and I'll use it on my commuting bike. Shimano's freehubs aren't the really loud clickers anyway. If you want 7-speed, this is fine. If you're not limited to 7-speed, you may as well get a freehub that can take 8, 9 and 10-speed cassettes. Shimano LX or Deore or something.
As to the rims, I've only seen them on tandems (not common) but they'll withstand loaded touring just fine if they're designed for tandems.
Last edited by TallRider; 11-30-06 at 12:29 PM.