A bit of background, I'm riding a '02 RM fusion (ass-nasty components but a great little frame) and and ride almost exclusively single track XC. My bottom bracket is currently snapping and popping like no other, and my outer chain ring is all bent to hell (I have to commute on this bike too, so I do need the outer chain ring), so I want to replace the bottom bracket and crankset. Problem is, I'm not up on all the various kinds of spindle interfaces and all the nitty-gritty details, so I was hoping you knowledgable fellows could make some suggestions. I'm not concerned with weight...I just want it to be as bulletproof and worry-free as possible. I'd also like the lot to come in under $200 (Canadian), even lower would be better. The other issue is that I'm running an 8 speed drivetrain and I really don't feel like switching to 9 speed right now - my understanding is that you can't really use 9 speed chain rings with 8 speed chains...but I'm not sure.
Any help would be appreciated!