Where from? I've never been able to find a supply at a sensible price. Any links very much appreciated.
I had Mercian cycles as my LBS, they just took them out of a little box of them. But they are an old skool LBS and are better known for making some rather nice steel frames (including for Paul Smith!)
Google is your friend though, £3 each for the cones. Whole hubs for £10 front, £25 rear.
you can swap the internals betweend eore and XT hubs, as long as you use the right spacers as one freehub has the bearign further outboard than the other.
It's just that cones are designed for people are happy operating spanners, whereas cartridges are designed for people who prefer to hit things with hammers. No great shame in that, but it's disingenuous to claim that cups and cones are somehow inferior or obsolete.
From a mechanical perspective C&C wins hands down as it can take axial loads, a radial cartrige bearing (as used in most hubs) takes radial loads, their axial rating is much much lower, angular contact bearings (like you get in headsets) would be better, but aren't as common. Cartriges advantage is in the seals and their disposable nature.