After having Sidi Dominator 5's, Shimano 315 and 240L's, and various other Time and Northwave shoes over the last 10 years, I can easily say that these are the best. My Sidi's weren't stiff enough, and the Shimano's lacked in traction and buckle quality.
I have a regular to wide size, 9.5 and these fit very true to size. Don't go with the High Volume model unless you have E+ width feet, the regular model has plenty of room in the toe box. The fit kit is pretty nice too. I run the high arch in the left, and low in the right, and they feel custom to my messed up feet.
I tried these head to head with the Code's, and I see no reason to get Codes. The Gauge is lighter, all leather, and doesn't have the cheap looking plastic parts. They are very plain in all black, but that is my style. I can't comment on the grey. Also, even though they have different EC70 and EC90 soles, I can't feel the difference, and neither can you. I walked and rode them blind, and pushed in my hands, and both will not bend. They are both ungodly stiff. I also tried the Privateer and Carbine, and they lack the "Board" stiffness of the carbon Giro models.
The price is what you would expect for a top of the line XC/Race shoe, and way lower than some other models.
I couldn't be happier. After 2 months and 1000 real offroad miles, they are hardly showing wear. I'll add a pic later.