More on the Paramount...
When I was in Engineering School, there was a professor that was universally loved, once you got past being terrified of him. He used to tell us that, "you can't push on a rope". He was talking about getting the right solution to the problem.
The Paramount is a '93 frame that was mass produced in Japan during Schwinn's dying gasps. She has a lugged frame, gorgeous splatter paint job, and is just beautiful to behold. She was originally equipped with 7 speed RX-100. She is fun to ride, fast and nimble, and in 2000 I replaced everything but the caliper brakes.
The stem and the bars are the right size for me, but the top tube is short and it is just to crowded for bar end shifters. When the 9 speed Ultegra STI shifters froze, I could either go back to down tube shifters or repair/replace the STI shifters.
Going back to down tube shifters would also have meant replacing the STI shifters with traditional brake levers.
I could not find replacement 9 speed STI shifters, so that could have meant upgrading to 10 speed just to get 10 speed STI shifters. That would have been really expensive. I was greatful that my 9 speed STI shifters could be saved.
I get really angry at Shimano for making stuff that cannot be repaired, and for making parts unavailable for parts that be repaired. I have three nice bikes, and I can barely afford parts to keep them running, much less pay to have my dealer do the work. I will to tolerate STI shifters on my Paramount because I am getting too old to bend down and use down tube shifters. Lots of others must feel the same way as STI's replaced down tube shifters really quickly.
On a touring bike, there should be an emphasis on reliability. Where I go on my touring bike, there is not usually a SAG vehicle following me. I need stuff that I can count on to have a pretty good limp home capability.
I just don't think STI does that for me.