To end the suspense for everyone I thought I'd share where I landed with pants.
I still couldn't decide and had it in my mind down to a final 3: Klim Dakar ITB, Cortech Sequoia XC & the Seq XC Air version.
Instead ended up finding a pair of brand new Oneal Apocolypse MX pants for $30 Aud on Gumtree, never worn, still had the tags on. http://www.revzilla.com/product/oneal-apocalypse-pants
. A quick look online and they happen to have a short inseam (turns out a lot of mx pants do to my surprise).
Normally I don't look at Mx pants coz there never seems to be much to them that impresses me but for $30 I couldn't resist. These are no exception there doesn't seem to be much to these pants either and if I paid the new $130 price for them I was thinking I'd be disappointed. There's no armour or padding to them so I went out and bought some new Fox Race Knee Guards for $55 - first time to own knee armour and these are a bargain with good reviews, that way I have some sort of protection for my legs.
Went for a fang today- pretty cool day but sun was out at least (it's winter here) some highway time, some single track time, and back. And I'm actually pretty impressed. Pants work a treat, really good stretch in them so kicking a leg over the bike and moving about is awesome. I only felt a small chill on the highway in the crotch area due to the stretch material there. Kept me warm, kept me dry. The knee pads also work well, stayed in place and as soon as I started riding I totally forgot they were there. So in the end, I (finally) got some good knee protection and a bargain pair of short leg pants. I have a new appreciation for mx style pants and when these wear out I will probably look at the Klim dakars.