Nice review. I think the hair is never going to be quite as soft as the '08; I actually prefer the extra loft and scrubbier hair of the '09. What kills the fun for me is the handle shape. I wish I could swap the '09 knot into the '08 handle. THAT would be the best brush ever.
[Sounds better than Jack Sprat.]
It does raise an interesting question: how do you get a knot out of a handle without destroying either the knot or the handle?