A nice pair of shorts is worth every penny, trust me.
Agreed about bibs, but they should NOT be nearly to your knee, unless you have midgit femurs. I have noticed that most lower-end shorts are longer though, I suppose because Americans don't like spandex in the first place, so making it short would be even worse. But take a look at any set of race cut shorts and you'll see they come about 3/4 of the way down your thigh.
My race shorts: (yes I know, road bike, but I wear the same kind during mtb races and rides)
Last edited by ZeCanon; 04-03-07 at 12:02 AM.