Hope’s are expensive and can look ugly but I’ve never tried a bad set.
For me the lever is pretty uncomfortable on most of the Formula stuff but again the brakes are great.
Magura would be my favourite but they sometimes lack power and are occasionally unreliable but I’ve had enough sets to know that doesn’t apply to all of them.
The levers on my Hayes Stroker’s rattle but I think I’ve fixed that and my other set is fine. I think the main problem with Hayes are the older brakes, they can sometimes put people off the Stroker’s.
I could pick on so many problems with Avid but I’ll do just one for today. The Tri-Align washers are a poor design and don’t work on a lot of wheel/frame setups. Yes they make setting up a bit easier sometimes but pretty much as soon as you use the brakes the washers reseat themselves back into a better fitting position causing the calliper to move and the pads to start rubbing on the disc. When your disc starts rubbing on a normal setup you can just use the brake a couple of times and the braking forces will move the calliper back into a more parallel position with the disc but the Avid Tri-Align washers prevent that from happening as it’s very hard to get them to move out of that better position for the washers and into a better position for the calliper and disc because they fit better where they are. I was pleased to see that someone had the decency to mention that in one of the bigger bike mags a couple of months back, two nearby bike shops don’t sell Avid partly for that reason and another one won’t even work on Avid brakes partly for that reason. Loctite had as much effect as chocolate moose BTW…