I know its more fun to consider cobbler.....but I notice SRAM's cassettes seem a little cheaper from some sources than Shimano's. --at least Ultegra level. I'm happy with SRAM's chains. Anybody want to comment on differences, shifting performance, etc.....or, more likely, one brand cassette is much like another? But, $10 saved at Performance will buy me a few extra latte's.....or, some missed shifts could buy me some aggravation.
Reason I ask is:: rear rim on my 6spd has developed hair-line cracks around spoke nipples. Time for a new wheel. So, I'm thinking of having Sheldon Brown build one with a 7spd freehub that accomodates HG cassettes. He suggests using a 9spd cassette/chain but locking it down without the last cog...Presto! an 8spd set-up that fits "narrow" 126 spaced dropouts. I'm even considering putting brifters up front. So, I'll need a new cassette--be it SRAM or Shimano. Exciting stuff....like having your dear wife of many years dress up one night in a blond wig.