I'm getting a 56cm, 26" wheel Surly LHT for my first touring bike. I'll probably be going with flatbar handlebars, with mountain-type equipment, and SGS rear derailleur.
I'd like to hear from you what kinds of shifters you like, and don't like. What I'm aware of are:
(1) Shimano Rapidfire Plus-type shifters (w/ or w/o the integrated brake lever), which have two levers that apparently sit right near the hands. This includes SRAM trigger shifters.
(2) STI-type shifters.
(3) SRAM Twist shifters.
(4) Paul Thumbies.
(5) Bar end shifters.
I'm interested particularly in convenience and durability in the (rare) event of a crash. Oh, and I guess whether they work or not is important. Whatever other one's you like also, it's an open question.