RE: Neil Pryde X9
As far as I know, mast bends can be roughly divided in just two groups: "classic constant curve" bend such as NP, and "even more constant curve" which is limited to Maui Sails and Gaastra (up to '05?).
Slighter differences may exist in the first group and much is left to the consumer to decide wheter to favour better/"perfect" compatibility or different/tailored performance (fatter/flatter bottom, looser/tighter leech...) or durability or cost or else.
Personally, I prefer not to experiment and tend to choose a sailmaker that also provides excellent spars, or whose sails do rig well on excellent spars. During past times (late '90s), I was glad to use Simmer Style slalom sails on the Fiberspar masts they were developed on; performance was OK, costs a bit less and reliability somewhat problematic (almost one warranty issue for each mast purchased). Now, I am very happy with my Maui Sails TR-3s and original SRS masts; those masts are well built, perform greatly (they have a springier effect than my previous Fiberspars and NP Matrix X9), of course warrant perfect performances to my sails and have a nicer price than many competitors.
As for the warranty issue: I would NEVER purchase a mast with only 6 months warranty. IMvvvHO, NP must be so happy with they spars that they just prefer not to part with them, and as far as I am concerned I would never hurt them by purchasing one.
As for booms, like SteveC says here above, Maui Sails' carbon ones simply have no match; maybe a bit pricey (but not that much after all), but they deserve it 200%.