I used to love gore full-length teflon housing. Incredible brake smoothness, power and precision. For about a month, then the whole teflon tube got contanimated with dirt, and it was the worst setup imaginable. I got a second set, and then stopped investing big cash in cables. Maybe again when I'm positively convinced a system is 100% dirt proof. I did love how a fresh set of Gores performed.
Same deal here. I used to love Gore and recommended them to my riding buddies. Then I discovered that as soon as you get a small hole in the liner, it lets water and gunk in but doesn't urge it out. Felt kinda bad after my buddies made the investment, then started having the same problem. Gores are okay on road bikes as they're less likely to develop the holes in the inner lining.
No experience with Nokons, but tried the Aztec powerlines recently. Same ultimate result, except with the plastic outer cover on the aztecs, the water got in there and the little aluminum sections started corroding. Oh yeah, that looked *REALLY* good - aluminum corrosion sealed inside a clear plastic housing. :| Good initial performance (which was really no better than conventional housing) which quickly went away.
Currently running el-cheapo non-stainless cable on my bike with generic housings. No problems at all except the exposed sections are white. (the zinc galvanizing) Shifting and braking -- still *flawless*. Haven't even bothered with any maintenance.
Want to get all spendy on your cables? Get Shimano XTR. I run it on my wife's race bike and no
problems at all, with *very* smooth action. Otherwise, generic cable and housing (although Shimano housing does seem to be a little
better) with routine maintenance is all you need.
Speaking of routine maintenance... do NOT
use Ice Wax on cables! Tried it - seemed like a good idea - on several bikes. (always test something on one bike at a time in case it doesn't work out!) Every single bike developed shifting issues. The Ice Wax gummed up the cables. A light oil works fine, but I usually install cables dry.
I did find a use for the Aztec Powerlines -- I run the sections that didn't get all corroded without the outer liner on the brake cables of my wife's 14lb road singlespeed. Ever so slightly lighter, and excellent bling factor. She barely rides that bike, though, so it really doesn't make much difference.