i don't want to throw 9.8 under the bus, i actually love mine. the head clamp for the saddle and the easy on off feature is amazing. the WT remote is as well. the 'look and feel' dare i say it is fantastic. it's a couple of niggles at this point.
1) the stanchion requires more care and attention than my 5 yr old KS Lev by a long shot. the post is quite sensitive to the amt of lubrication in order to function smoothly. the dust wiper isn't really a dust wiper but an air seal and it too is very sensitive. my first one leaked (slowly) and therefore wouldn't maintain pressure and wouldn't work. it was replaced under warranty and has worked ever since. this post is on my second bike which sees less use then my other bike, but unfortunately, i've heard this is a common issue with some owners.
2) i have a minor vertical scratch on the post that clearly comes from somewhere internal. it's strange and disconcerting but it isn't getting any worse at this point nor is it affecting the function. i keep an eye on it and have informed 9.8 about it. it is also well documented by a few others, seems to happen only with the long travel versions from what i've read.
my old KS is going to die eventually, and it's replacement will have at least 175mm drop. i'm still leaning towards another 9.8 and will form a more conclusive opinion of the brand after i ride the wheels off the Patrol as i intend to focus on this bike over the Smuggler this season.