Ok - Well I didn't want to wait so I called Warn today
They do not sell winches w/o the cable as they come from the US factory with them on the drum. One of the reasons they don't sell them now with the Synthetic is what it would do to the cost when including a 'quality' syn. It could take a $500 M8000 and make it close to $900......big jump.
I've seen the different costs of aftermarket syn rope on Amazon ($100 to $600), and there has to be a difference in quality. Not all synthetic rope is made the same. Personally, I hear the same type of debates all the time working in the computer networking business.
He also had some good points about potential issues with synthetic rope. Besides the snagging I've always heard about, he mentioned about how dirt and sand can get inbetween the rope fibers causing it to slowly deteriorate. UV is also a concern. Washing out the rope after mudding would be a pain....
The weight on the M8000 also doesn't seem to be big concern. 74lbs with the cable. Pretty decent. He never had issues with cables and says most of the exec's at Warn still run them. They use syn on ATV's and vehicles they would use bare hands on, but run steel on the Jeeps/Trucks. Throw a rug across the wire if there is a concern about stored energy....and you're all set.
I think I'll jump on the M8000 with the $80 rebate and if I want to go Syn later I'll pick up some MasterPull line.
**The US based factories are a HUGE plus for Warn too. I'll spend a little extra to get the Warn and keep my money in the US. That was also my justification on why I spent almost $30K on the Jeep too....