Haha.......Glad most every rig Jon and I touch work when we are done. Every rig does seem to have it's own personality and needs a little tlc after doing major work to it. I don't care what anyone says, sometimes it takes a little while to get things dialed in just right. Almost seems better to sneak up on the adjustments like I do when I align my heap. I make smaller adjustments a little at a time until I find the combination of tweaks that result in the best ride. It's really difficult to do that to most guys shit though cause they all want instant gratification....lol!! I totally understand! This isn't to say that I don't want instant gratification either, I'm just a little more patient given the understanding of how much work it can be to find the right numbers and to get it to ride the way I want it to.
As far as lifts go I can say that I've had much more luck with off the shelf RK stuff than I have any other shelf, bolt on lift. I've been really happy with my rigs wheeling capabilities but it started out as a Mopar lift (prolly a superlift or remarked RE kit), then Currie and now sort of a Frankenstein lift with a hodgepodge of parts but the end result is satisfying to me and my haphazard driving styles. As it drives at this moment, I'd run it down the highway at 80mph and not think twice about it's tracking, stability or road worthiness...however, with my gearing, tire pressure, etc., I'm not that fond of taking it to those limits. At 65-70 it's completely happy traveling down the road with just one finger on the wheel. Won't tell you where the other fingers are but you can probably guess.
Of all the jk/jku/jkur rigs in town that have around 4" lifts and have gone out and wheeled their shit along with me, Jim's seems to have held up the best. He runs a Clayton lift with OME shocks and I have yet so see him have any lift related issues. That's pretty impressive. He has JJ's and it seems to flex just as much if not even more than mine does. James of course wheels the shit outta his but I put him in a different category and he has had his RE joints replaced several times. I also wouldn't wanna be the one driving it down the hwy at 80 either but he's so comfortable in it it's like his right hand...lol.
Jon of course has a bitchin RK lift and it is simply the smoothest riding jeep I've ever been in. Rides like a fucking caddy. It doesn't get out to some of the more extreme trails we do but it's built to do them. Maybe someday?!
Popeysides has an awesome LJ that he's set up himself with many custom mods that let's it go anywhere in total comfort. It's another rig that you can go out and haul ass in down the trails and rides like a caddy too.
I think each one has it's own little idiosyncrasies and little flaws here and there but once you get to a certain point given the characteristics of the stock or standard steering geometry, your gonna have to make compromises on the highway if your plan to use it both on and off road. This is of course my own opinion and probably all wrong but it works for me and my shit so there!! Just know that if you want a perfect off road rig you should get a buggy. If you want a perfect on road rig, buy a fucking car. If you want both, quit bitching and start enjoying the ride you have and spend the time to get to know it a little bit and understand that it simply won't be a perfect world doing both.
I don't know what to say about local shops....as most of you know I'm pretty neutral and even have them do me favors here and there when they can but over the past few years I have not been having such good experiences and recently I've had a few situations that are leaving me ready to wash my hands of them and most likely won't be referring anyone out to them again
One last note to think about. This hobby is a choice we have made to be involved in. Most of the problems or issues we end up having are very much 1st world problems that we should be grateful to have. I often forget this too when caught up in my own shit but lately I've been trying to appreciate the fact that I have such wonderful problems in my life!! Kick back and enjoy the things you do have and get the fuck out and wheel your shit if that's what you bought it for. If not, at least get the fuck over to the mall and run over a few curbs
Oh and Alex, "fuck you"!!