I'm happy w/my ford 9"... You can go to a junkyard and snag the disc brake brackets off of any disc brake ford explorer 8.8 and it will bolt onto the ford 9". Throw on some 8.8 rotors and calipers and you are good to go with a disc brake ford 9"...
Some ford 9" housings have larger hardward at the housings ends than the 8.8, so I had to drill my 8.8 brackets to a larger bolt... Not a big issue... But the overwhelming majority of ford 9" housings will allow 8.8 disc brakes to bolt up.
As for axle width, sounds like it may be a little wider in the rear than the front. I used some 1" spacers on my front axle, some say this is a terrible idea, but I have had zero issues with my wheel spacers and havn't had a hub/unit bearing go out on me yet. I run 36" tires.
Here is a link to my 9" build :: http://www.jeepforum.com/forum/f12/f...-pics-1007941/