I'm building a 1995 frame and was wondering what build parts were being used then?
Was it 8 speed for XT or still 7 speed?
Were Canti's still mostly used?
Was this the 1st year for the RS Judy's?
Cantilevers were used across the board even in 1996 except on certain oddball suspension bike designs which were using brakes from Paul Components, Crystal Design, Marinovative, MRC, IRD, Westpine, and WTB (that is to say, brakes where the cable housing routed to the brake or a special mounting bracket, and thus avoided mucking around with a straddle cable and carrier). Shimano SERIOUSLY goofed the production volume/expected demand in 1996 for XTR and XT V-brakes and hardly anyone had them, or any bikes came stock with them. Really, they were just supposed to be a cheaper alternative to the aftermarket direct-pull cantilevers that many big brands were resorting to using on their full suspension frames that didn't allow good cable routing for conventional cantilevers or U-brakes. Only in 1997 did you really begin to see V-brakes replacing cantilevers.
1995 was the first year of the RS Judy yes (also the year of the Manitou 4 and Manitou EFC, and the Marzocchi XC600 and DH3). The Judy XC had 2" of travel, the SL had 2.5" and the DH had 3" of travel.
Deore XT went to 8 speed in 1994 and Deore LX followed suit in 1995 (because Suntour had beaten Shimano to having three 8speed groups in 1993, XC-Pro, XC-Comp and XC-Expert). Shimano originally had a 2 year gap between the 1992 XTR 8 speed rear ends and XT's 8 speed rear ends.