i'm looking at an NSR as i don't know of any alternatives that have the following:
carry 4 bikes securely over rough roads/shuttles; high ground clearance from hitch
a) other racks to be considered?
b) is rust a big issue with NSR? some say it is.
are they all that and a bag of chips? any problems or issues i should be aware of?
NSR is pretty hard to beat IMHO. It's simple, robust, and does its job very well. Loading/unloading bikes is fast and easy, as long as you don't have a newer DH rig with an extra fat head tube (eg. Specialized Demo). These tend to get stuck in the hooks and require some effort to unload. A little tweaking of the hanging hooks reduces but doesn't completely get rid of this problem. I am very happy with my NSR4. Rust has not been an issue.