I'm a quasi-newb to MTB. Rode quite a bit years ago but never really knew anything about bike parts and upgrades. I am becoming more involved this time around. I ride a Trek 4500, everything stock for right now as I have had it for about a month. So far, it has been a good choice for my first bike back into things.
I am noticing one thing right now, though - braking. It has V-Brakes but I ride in SoCal so it is dry, mostly hardpack so I don't think it is a big problem. I am not upgrading this bike to disc but do think I could use more braking power. The stock set up is Avid SD3. I have read some stuff about KoolStop MTB brakes as being a great pad. I will be getting some of those but if I still feel like I need more brake power from the mechanical side of things - where should I look?
I know nothing about the different manufacturers so any personal experience guidance for my research would be appreciated.