So, how is it? Well... the gear range is great, 1st gear is as low as I need it for hills, and I don't think I've ever needed 7 or 8. I just don't prefer to go that fast. On the down side, the shifting is not quite as perfect as on my Novarra Fly-By. On the Novarra, I can shift literally whenever I want: at a stop, or even while grinding it up a hill. But on my Nishiki, it often just won't shift while I'm pedalling. I just have to stop pedalling, then restart, then it shifts fine. I consider this just a minor annoyance considering all the benefits. Overall, I'm very glad I undertook this upgrade. I learned how to build a wheel, and install an internally geared hub. :)
Next upgrade? I probably should replace those original tires with some quality Schwalbe's.