IMO the RacingZero give you a very, very nice hub, with a rim/spoke package that is very hard to beat in stiffness or in weight. Those wheels are pretty tough, too. The main downside to the racing zero is if you do crash/trash it, replacement rims and spokes are very expensive.
Fitzroy- Easton ought to be willing to send parts to you or your wheel builder rather than you sending the wheel to them.
Although that might be the way to do warranty service.
What you get with high priced hubs is either reasonably light weight with reliability and serviceability, or really light weight with less reliability and/or serviceability. I'd put White Ind, Alchemy, Chris King in the former category. I've not yet build with Tune or Soul Kozak but I'd suspect they're in the latter category.
I like hand built wheels because I can buy the parts and build them myself. Even if I am getting them built by someone else I can chose the parts or guide the builder's choices to fit my requirements. That fits my geeky do all the research personality. And I can still replace spokes if they break. With factory built wheels with proprietary spokes I am at the mercy of the factory to sell me the parts. Easton's slow to answer email but they will sell the parts, like bearings and the hub tool to install them, to me. Some factories do not want to bother with home mechanics.
Since I discovered that people would hand build wheels for me (and later that I could build them myself) I have not bought a factory wheel. If someone made a set that fit all my needs I'd consider it, but only if they did not use proprietary spokes.
So you can place my opinion- I'm a masters racer, not a bearded SPD-sandal wearing retro grouch.
Thanks all. This is my exact dilemma. Buy Factory, Easton - Fulcrum and be at the Factories mercy for expensive parts and service, or buy and build knowing a builder can swap and change with ease. Combined with the longevity question. Based on experience, good factory wheels last about 3-4 years (20,000kms) before spokes start to go (no hub issues to date) and I need to change. Will these fancy hubs Tune, Alchemy be reliable for ??? 5+ years to make them a viable proposition?
@eric, Alchemy servicable? do they not need a special tool for the rear hub? I'd need to find a builder with one to start with!