My last two road bikes were both 10 speed 105. I recently changed to a bike with 9 speed Sora and despite my doubts after ordering it I have to say it is great. Gear changing only requires a very light touch on the shifters and changes sweetly every time. My utility bike has Tiagra 9 speed with bar end shifters and they also perform faultlessly. I really wonder if for the average cyclist (like me)who doesnt race then the higher end groupsets arent that much of a step up.