I got this wheelset last year and it performed nicely for the season - until some late December ride when the driveside spoke broke. It's still under warranty but to avoid the hustle (and expense) of shipping it back I was considering fixing it myself (a j-bend spoke is easily available). That's when I took the cassette off (to take correct measure of the driveside spoke). I've never had so much problem taking the cassette off (Ultegra 6700) - the hub body splines were simply cut through (especially on one of middle cogs). I don't participate in races but I like to move on purpose (express commuting etc). 185# plus bike and gear (if any). Surely not too much to ask from middle-range wheelset (not the 1% range though;).

Has anyone had similar experience with Vuelta hubs (does the wheelset grade matter - e.g. compared to Vuelta Team V or do they use same hub body across all wheelsets). Or is it an issue with Ultegra cassettes - separate cogs with fewer splines on them did not look right to me as well.

Now the repair/replacement part:
Called Vuelta's support but they referred me to the seller - Nashbar - which is fine.
Since I don't expect Nashbar to be fixing the wheel (I ship it in and they - most likely - ship back replacement wheelset) - what would be your suggestion:
1. Take the replacement and replace Ultegra with something that spreads the load more evenly (like what?).
2. Ask for step up (pay the difference) to Vuelta Team V - I'd like to know if they used different hub as paying shipping + upgrade price does not exactly add up for me (if the issue was to reoccur).
3. Ask for known quality - step up to Mavic Ksyrium Elite that Nashbar has at 399$. Assuming that they agreed I'd get welded rims (minor annoyance on Vueltas), same weight, bladed spokes (same in crosswinds), lower rims (Vueltas at front almost got me the few surprising wind gusts). I'll still end up paying for shipping + upgrade but don't expect future problems with the hub.
3. Ask for refund and (if approved) get RS80 at JensonUSA (~600$) - this way I pay for shipping (as always) plus upgrade (quite a bit) but I get fancy hoops with decent track record.

I purchased Vueltas last March so have some time to make the decision. Any suggestions/remarks are welcome.