Does all of the 9spd SRAM stuff work with an XT deraileur?
You can modify them but to keep it really simple just go for the SRAM models with names (eg Rocket) rather than numbers (eg X9).
I use Attack grip shifters with Shimano mechs and much prefer them to triggers. I have never had an accidental shift due to my hands rotating on the bars which I keep hearing about. My index finger covers the brake lever and I either use SRAM grips or cut down others to fit.
If you search hard enough you can even find short versions of lock on grips.