I'm akways puzzled by people who say that indexing requires constant fettling. It's just not true. I've had indexed gearing since 1987 (6 speed Deore XT on my mountain bike) and all my bikes are indexed from that one (which I still have) to my 'posh' road bike with 20 speed Ultegra SL. It just works. No adjustment required. It needs to be set up right to start with and then it's perfect until I change the cable and set it up again.
Yes, until you change the cables, or until they get full of dirt. Which happens fairly quick if you ride in the right conditions. This goes for 'brifters', not for downtube STI - Which is my definition of perfection.
Just to address another matter: Threadless headsets are NOT stronger than threaded ones, just a different way of adjustment. I agree that the 5/6mm hex wrenches are the easier way to adjust though.
1993 Daccordi SLX DeGriffe
1992 Kona Hei Hei
2010 Litespeed Archon