Remember, it's not about impressing you, SHE is the one who wants it. Between a rock and a hard place, I know. However, I do tend to agree with another poster that if your experience on the $14K Campy bike was that bad I would be inclined to think it wasn't set up very well. I can't stand it if a top end group is set up poorly on a fine bike, and that happens way too often in my opinion. I've seen people who just spent a load on a bike with Campy 11spd and they say "Holy crap, this is the best thing ever", when in fact it's making noise and shifting poorly. It's that "I just spent a load and damnit it's the best cuz that's what I read on the internet" syndrome. Any of the groups work very well when set up right. But that is the key, getting it set up right. Last week, a friend just received a demo "as new" Cannondale Evo set up with Dura Ace 9000 mechanical. This thing should shift like 'butta'. But he asked if I could look at it, just to make sure. Well, I did, and it was shifting like crap, especially at the front. Being primarily a Campy guy, and having never worked on the new 9000 mechanical stuff before, I did a little research and read the tech manuals, the dealer manuals, forums, everything I could to educate myself on it. And sure enough, the front derailleur had been set up not just poorly, but incorrectly. I spent a long time fiddling with it and learning about the ON/Off position of the cable routing up front, and got it right. In this case, it wasn't the group, it was the setup, supposedly done by the shop mechanic who probably didn't take the time to really educate himself on the nuances of the new 9000 stuff. They're all good... just pick one. As long as it's Campy
Cuz it really is the "bees knees". Yes, still.