Let me preface this question by saying that I've read Sheldon's bit on straight vs double butted spokes but wanted to get some more input from the community.
Heres what I'm faced with: building my first set of wheels. Like many before me I'm sure, especially those trying to do this on a budget or for an older bike that doesn't need a lot of money poured into it I'm debating the merits of stepping up to double butted spokes and the extra cost. Especially when I'm going to be buying 72 spokes (2x 36spoke wheels). Hubs are old school Shimano High Flange hubs that are 126mm spaced for a 7speed freewheel. Rims are Wobler 58's in 27". Bike is my (personally) repainted 84 Centurion that I dubbed the Barracuda Mk.I equipped with Shimano 105 Golden Arrow.
The wheels on it now are another set of 36spoke 27"ers that I bought in late 05, but are now being moved over to my Schwinn prior to that bike's sale. I wasn't happy with the combination of the width of the MR19 rim (23.5mm) and the dual pivot brakes so decided that I would build my own set of more vintage wheels around a narrower rim and a High Flange hub (which I personally like the look of). These current wheels run straight pull 14g spokes which I have had no real problems with besides breaking one spoke in the rear after hitting one really nasty pot hole at the bottom of a hill.
I don't race this bike by any means, I primarly gets use on medium length chairity rides in the spring and fall when I'm more interested in seeing the country side than putting the hammer down.
So, should I spend the approx 50% more on DB spokes this time around if I intend to have this weelset around for the foreseeable future, or for this application and budget, does the cost out weigh the benifit?