Spokes and ride quality?
It's time, sadly, to respoke my commuter's wheels. If butted spokes are going to make for a plusher ride, I'll spring for them, but if ride quality's going to be equivalent, I'd rather save a few bucks and buy straight spokes, since weight here doesn't matter at all... Thoughts?
I doubt you'll notice any subjective difference in ride.
There is a school of thought that says that butted spokes are less prone to breakage because the thinner center section, where spokes never break, absorbe forces that would otherwise stress the elbows, where spokes frequently break. Considering the relatively minor cost difference compared to the rest of the wheel rebuilding project, I always use butted spokes for wheels for my personal bikes.