interesting article! one thing i didnt see mentioned that i spoke to gear works about last year is the amount of "sliding" or shearing happens on some gear sets. on a 9", the numerically higher the gear set, the more angled the teeth are and the more they have to slide against eachother. This sliding supposedly breaks down the oil and creates a lot of heat and wear on the gear making it not last as long no matter how many teeth the pinion has.
Is any one here running a selectable under drive like a klune v or similar selectable planetary set? Seems like a good way for deep gearing for dirt while keeping the strength of a taller gear and highway mileage.