I haven't used canti's except on my old mtbike. I haven't used disks, either.
In general in my riding and racing I don't notice my brakes much. My bikes tend to be old. My background is that I've done about 100 races of most kinds over the years.
It's flat around here and wide open. I just don't brake that much or that hard.
I've started CX racing more.
I agree that better braking can equal faster speeds overall.
So last year I enjoyed using my light roadbike for CX racing but, really, it was kinda harsh. I used old 26-28mm sewups. My sidepulls never clogged and they worked fine like always.
I'm planning on getting my first CX frame. It'll have generic canti's I suppose. I just buy cheap old stuff. I'm thinking of a TCX or Redline or Crux -- all a few yrs old.
So... will I notice that the canti's are terrible?
I just had someone tell me to use Linears instead. I kinda like the bold rebel look of canti "ears." I plan to use this bike as my road bike. (Going the other way for a change.) It should be about as light. Similar config.
Really, all I truly need is a road frame with some clearance for 32's and a wee bit o' mud, but what can ya do. I don't race a lot of anything anymore so special bikes aren't needed. I *do* want to keep it under 19 lbs! Using tubies will be my trick to doing that, and to a sweet, plush ride and fun handling.
But are stock canti's going to make me say WTF?