just upgrading my 8wt as we speak:
9wt - sage xi2 4pc with orvis hydros iv with either rio wff or wulff btt clear intermediate
old (now backup) 8wt - okuma guide select 4pc and okuma helios 8/9 with sa mastery multi-tip system. at one point that was my only 8 or better so i needed the versatility of the multi-tip. surprisingly rugged setup that has lasted a good while. sealed drag on the helios has handled bones, small cudas, stripe and over-slot reds
new 8wt - sage vantage 4pc and nautilus ccf 8 with soon-to-be-ordered wulff btt two-tone or lost tip. gotten everything on ebay so far so the whole rig will end up being under $550 with line and backing.
i went with the vantage, b/c i like the slower med-fast action for my 8wt. that xi2 is in the quiver for when winds are belting, but i can adjust my stroke and be much more accurate/delicate at close range with a bit slower rod.