i have always loved the simple look and the ease of maintenance of the LX range but where the hell do i get a good set of them?
In terms of sourcing the right kit, there is still plenty of LX and XT stuff around from the 1997 era if you know where to look.
You've already got an XT M737/9 rear mech and the shifters look like STX 8spd which are very reliable shifters from the right period.
Keep and eye on the For Sale threads on here and search eBay using the M565/M567/M569 and M600 numbers for LX, and M737/M739 for XT stuff.
The LX or XT cranks are a little more difficult to find, but there are a set of XT ones in the For Sale thread at the moment.
Pretty soon you'll be able to recognise the parts you're looking for from a thousand yards.
It all comes down to patience, time and money in the end though.
You might have to buy a spare bike in the meantime...