Since I've just finished my second season of guiding in the Alps, thought I'd post up a wee list of kit that has just kept working (and stuff that hasn't).
Best of the best:
Hayes 9 brakes.
Powerful, easy to work on, great pad life. Mine have goodridge hoses and I run them with original Hayes sintered pads as much as possible. Mine must be 4 years old now (had them before I moved out here) and they actually came from the classifieds on here so may be even older! Damaged them in crashes a couple of times over the 2 years, otherwise zero problems. Both times they were easy to fix myself and parts were cheap.
DT Swiss 5.1 rims.
These seem to get a slagging on here. Mine have been brilliant. I dinged the rear once during my first season due to pilot error. Straightened that out with an adjustable spanner and had no hassles since. Run them tubeless using the DT Swiss rimstrips and UST tyres.
Maxxis High-Rollers (2.5" Super-tacky UST DH version)
God's own front tyre.
Shimano Hone Cranks
Also coming on for 4 years old and still going strong. Think I replaced the bearings once last year, not at all this year.
Time Z Control pedals
7 years, no maintenance, no play, no problems. Ultimate reliability. (I swapped to flats a year ago though).
EA30 bars, Thomson stem, Thomson posts, Hope QR seat collar
Yup, everything's still where it should be. Every bike should have a Hope QR seatpost clamp!
Great but minor problems or not them long enough to say
Orange Alpine 160 Frame. Love it, and not expecting any problems.
Santa Cruz Heckler (06 model) frame. Loved this frame, but I did eventually snap it in July. Can't complain, it had done a season and a half of top-notch service out here plus a year or so back in the UK.
Hope ProII hubs. Great, not even had to replace the bearings yet, but I did snap a rear axle (replaced super-fast by Hope, awesome service!). Freehub springs have gone too, but that's fair enough. Started with QR both ends, now 20mm front, 12mm rear.
RockShox Lyrik U-turn
Fitted at the start of this season. Been really pleased with them, no hassles at all. Small amount of oil leakage through the Mission Control damper, but not a big deal.
Shimano QR axles - break way too easily
Avid Juicy 5's - good brakes when they work, but too prone to heat problems and pad replacement is a bad joke (especially compared to Hayes).
Aside from the bike, big shout-outs go to: Fox Sidewinder gloves, Oakley bike shorts, Giro helmets and my trusty Canon Powershot S50 which has survived far too many crashes, drops and soakings.