Can you imagine the penalty for having a prairie dog?
BB7 road calipers plus the Dia-Compe [or Tektro] V-brake compatible levers mean you don't have to run the pads so close to the rotor. Very fault-tolerant. I used this setup for a couple years and it worked much better than cantis. This winter I threw studs on my SS and rode that instead. Hydros FTW.
Continental Rubber Queen is worth a try. I've been running the 2.4 UST on my do-it-all bike for the last few months. They roll much faster than you'd think given the size, weight, and soft-compound. The sidewalls are really lively, takes some getting used to, but other than that I'm pretty pleased…
+1 on the Rubber Queen [renamed to Trail King for 2010]. I run a 2.4 up front with a Mountain King 2.4 in back [not UST though]. I'm going to try converting them to tubeless tonight.
I'm picking up what you're putting down. Waiting for the price to drop, waiting for things to be in stock, submitting the order and then coming home early on the days the postal truck _should _be rolling by the house with the new gear. I've stayed at home looking out the front window on Saturday mornings 'cause my ESPN says that Brown Santa will be showing up… any… minute…