Re: Die-cast hoops
T, have you tried die cast hoops personally? I would at least try to hit a drum with one on there before devoting your wallet to them. You may or may not like it. Like bob said, maybe get a used one to see if you like the effect it has on your drum both in feel and especially sound.
IMO and if you're a rim shot drummer, I'd go with a stick saver hoop or a 3.0mm like zarrdoss mentioned. The feel of a rim shot with a die cast may not feel good but with a stick saver you'll wear the stick less in the middle and with the 3.0mm it will give you a little bit more tone control or definition from the added weight.