If it was me, personally building something from scratch that I was going to keep for a long time, then I'd invest a bit of money and time. Disc brakes, stainless running gear etc.
However, going for 'off the shelf' stuff, in my humble opinion, Alko are still better than Knott. Others may disagree, but my points are:
There's no carrier shoe, so less to rust and seize.
They were the first to come out with stainless cables and they've now stepped it up again, by coating the stainless inner with plastic. Also the fixings are stainless now too - the nuts etc. These are all moves in the right direction.
You could also have the shoe linings brass riveted to the shoes, helping to stop them delaminate.
If you don't like the idea of the 'sealed for life' bearing units then you can have axles made with taper roller bearings, that are serviceable, but run on Alko brakes. Indespension do this.
Does any of that help?!