Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: New Market, MD, US
I picked up a 2000 996 at a great price as an early Christmas present to myself, and all I can say is that it is an unique and exhilarating experience. All my prior bikes were in-line fours, and the twin has a much different feel. This is just a weekend bike, so I wasn't concerned much with comfort, but I did find it to be more comfortable for me than I previously thought.
But it definitely is not designed for long hauls. The Ducati also stands out, which may be good or bad depending on your outlook. When ever I parked my 900RR, it blended into the crowd, just another sportbike. The Ducati, however, is an attention magnet, from both riders and non-riders.
My opinion is the R1 would be a better all around ride, if you may do some longer rides. Also, I think from the performance numbers perspective, the R1 has the bragging rights, if that is important to you.