To the guy with the ginger hair, beard and black dropbars in Manchester yesterday. Nice chatting to you. Sorry I didn’t get chance to direct you to this blog, hopefully you’ll come across it anyway. To answer your question, the Nexus hub is great. Very smooth, free running and almost totally silent. You have to learn a different style of shifting compared to a derailleur, but it’s very simple and actually more user-friendly (it helps to ease off slightly when upshifting and be wary of the change between 4th and 5th). The range of 307% is more than enough for commuting 20 miles a day.
Mine is the sg-8r31 model. The latest one available is sg-8r36. Nearly all of the complaints you might come across on the internet will be about the earlier models such as sg-8r20. I presume from the experience of my hub that shimano have ironed out the problems with the revised models. Presumably the very latest models and the premium redband model or Alfines are even better than mine.
I intend to do a proper review at some point in the future, but for now, based on ‘fit and forget’-ability so far I’d give it 9/10.