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The up-spec derailleur is one of the oldest spec tricks in the book. Actually, it's by far the oldest. So it's a holdover, but I agree with you, it'll take a brave Product Manager to buck that trend, but someone can make hay if they go for it.
I've never seen an XT caliper spec'd with resin only rotors. Are you sure you've seen that? For sure it's an issue at the SLX level or below, but I'm uncertain about it where anything labeled XT is concerned. Please point it out if you know of an example because that's super egregious and maybe deserving of a little ribbing. I agree with you that brakes trump tires, though. Easier to swap tires at the shop, or wear them out and replace, for sure.
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