Firstly I do not enjoy (just short of hate) using bar con shifters. I do enjoy (just short of love) using Shimano STI shifting a lot. I also really like Rapidfire mtb shifters but I am not comfortable on flat bars. So my quest has been to have STI or comparable shifting on drop bars for my touring bike.
The first really successful attempt was with a 9 speed Ultegra triple using an old RSX FD and a XT RD. Work pretty smoothly, almost flawlessly
The last incarnation was with Shimano 105 10 speed using a Sora FD and a 9 speed XT RD. This was really sweet, especially the throw for shifting. 10 speed is nice.
Then I had my 6703 Ultegra on another bike break and fail to drop the chain off of the big ring. This incidence brought back memories I had on a Big Bend tour where a rider had a cable break and lock up an Ultegra bifter. These are things I do not want to deal with on tour.
And as I was installing the 10 speed bifters I thought to my self, "would I want to replace a 10 speed derailleur cable on the side of the road?" With my luck it would be in the rain too. Now mind you I never have had to do this nor have I ever experienced a cable breaking personally.
After a sleepless night or two I remembered KISS and am now in the process of going back to where Bruce Gordon originally spec'ed the bike some fourteen years ago.
I am pretty sure the 105 10 speed set up would be perfectly fine and reliable. After all Co Motion and others have STI standard on their offerings. But one does tends to psych ones self out.