Rob wanted two pairs of wheels for his touring and commuting bikes. Both needed dynamo hubs on the front, and he wanted utmost reliability for the rear hub. Ideally standard ball bearings and cones, and a steel freehub.
The Shutter Precision PD-8 hub fit the dynamo need perfectly. They are inexpensive, robust, and work well. Also well supported here in Australia. The Shimano Deore XT hub is the perfrect rear touring hub. It's very well made, the bearings are beautiful (and easily serviced) and the freehub is steel, so super tough and resistant to the gouging that can occur with the high torque loads (on the rear cogs when carrying a big load).
A wider alloy rim is best for touring. This enables a wide tyre, to reliably carry heavier loads (at reasonable pressures) and give the rider some all day comfort. After some discussion with Rob, the Mavic A719 was selected over the Hplusson TB14 (a bit too light) and the Mach1 France 610 (a bit too heavy).
They're a great rim for the money, and suit touring and gravel grinding applications well. Pricing is certainly very reasonable. The A719 is a welded joint rim, so the machined braking surface is lovely and uniform.
We used custom cut Sapim Strong spokes on the rear, and Sapim Race on the front, in no-nonsense silver. Of course, Sapim Polyax nipples were used.