There is something to be said for simplicity. The REI Co-op Cycles 9" shorts offer no thrills, but doesn't charge you for them, either. Testers commented that this short has an OK fit: silicone bands around the legs aren't too snug, even for larger riders; longer length adds a nice extra bit of protection on the legs, and a wide waistband keeps everything in place. However, if you are racing or doing longer rides, shorts with more panels and higher quality nylon will add much-needed protection and comfort, especially in hot conditions.
If you only need a pair for short rides and spin classes, we find the Canari Pro Gel to be a more economical choice, although the Co-op Cycles model looks better on most figures.