The 2008 SE is hitting the warning squealers on the front brakes so it's time to put on its third set. Last time, I switched out the factory Hitachi pads for a set of Akebono PRO ACT Ceramics and a pair of Wagner brake rotors. The Akebonos served well; they were quiet and stopped at least as well as the factory installed pads. They lasted almost 90,000 miles, so, I can't say I didn't get my money out of them, either!
Wagner brakes recently introduced their OEx series of brake pads, so, I'm going to give them a try. The P/N for front brakes on a V6 R51 is Wagner OEX1094. The best price I found was $41.25 on Ebay, includes shipping and tax. They come with new hardware, including the "V" shaped springs that help push the pads away from the rotors when the brakes are released, which some kits don't have on other pads. They don't come with lube, but I have a jar of copper-slip which I use for lubing the abutment clips and contact areas on the backs of the pads. Wagner claims these ceramic pads to be low-dust, provide shorter stopping distances compared to others and provide longer life. They definitely have a "funky" looking pad lining design with the cooling channels to provide better cooling. Each pads comes with a metal backing shim plate, but, only one pad comes with a warning squealer attached.
Wagner claims that stopping distances "may" be reduced "up to" 50 feet. That would be nice, since I, like many others, aren't overly impressed by their factory brakes performance. We'll see how that works out!
The rear pads, also Akebonos and put in at the same time as the fronts, are about 30% worn, so they'll be staying in place for awhile. I'm looking forward to seeing how well this new Wagner pads perform!