Compared to the spindly 40mm factory gas shock, the Bilstein replacement looks far more manly. Well, looks aren't everything (or we'd never put up with the Silverado's front end, or ourselves) and as it turned out, in the front there wasn't much of a difference in the ride quality department, if any. In the rear, the Bilstein shocks made a major difference for the better. It may be worth the extra bucks for the RS 9000X (center) if you tow or carry heavier loads frequently, as they can be adjusted to suit the occasion. Running nearly empty, setting 4 or 5 works quite well, but the ride isn't as cushy as with the Bilsteins.