Here's some more info: http://www.disraeligears.co.uk/Site/Sun ... 00%29.html
When I first got into cycling in the early 80s you bought Suntour and Shimano if you couldn't afford Campagnolo, but I really liked Suntour stuff I had, it was well made, nicely finished and worked well and reliably. I also thought that Suntour components looked smarter than the Shimano products of a similar price, which I always thought looked a bit fugly.
I still think a lot of Shimano components are not exactly pretty. I have an XT rear derailleur, it works well enough, but apart from the "X" shaped outer parallelogram plate it's quite utilitarian and hardly a thing of beauty:
SRAM stuff is no prettier:
I had one of these back in the day:
The long cage version weighed 170g, about 55g lighter than a modern XT M-772, so not sure what real development happened in the 30 years between the two models.
It's a shame Suntour didn't survive, it'd be interesting to see what they came up with if they had.