With my ancient (going on 7 years) square taper cranks and bottom bracket creaking like crazy whenever I whale on them, I've decided it's time for new cranks!! Problem is, I can't find any cranks/BB that really turn me on.

I love the durability and low cost of square taper, but the creaking is a problem. ISIS: too many horror stories. Outboard bearing systems: replacing bearings is more expensive than replacing an entire square taper BB, chainline is worse, Q-factor is wider, but maintenance is easier (fewer tools). Last option is Sh!tmano's hollowtech 1, again parts getting fewer and fewer.

So I have a number of questions...

Is it possible to keep a quality square taper interface from squeaking even after a number of years? If so, how? I'm not an upgrade junkie, I like my stuff to last.

Do the outboard bearings last? In theory they should (more, bigger bearings spread further apart) My s.t. bb (UN51) has lasted almost 7 years with zero maintenance, although I did manage to snap one after less than two years.

Is there a possibility of a company making an outboard BB that has a normal chainline and q-factor? Or is it physically impossible? Do roadies put up with this sh!te as well?

Do hollowtech 1 cranks creak as well (assuming proper installation)? I'm considering Deore cranks. Aren't they the same as 2003 XT??

So I have narrowed my options down to Phil Wood BB or UN73 with Middleburn RS8, Deore hollowtech 1, jump for the new XTs or put up and shut up until something decent comes along? Sigh...

Vital statistics: 75 kg (165lb) in the buff, aggressive XC, steel hardtail 8spd luddite.