dustin: It looks to me as though there may have been a SRAM derailluer on there before the XTR one. The SRAM rear housing run is pretty short, so the extra length needed looks as though it might be made from some Nokon housing bits. Just a guess, but that's what I'm seeing there.
looks almost like the metal thing(noodle?) that goes on v-brakes.
Ahhh! Yes, that is right. A second closer look confirms it. Good eye!
It might be neat in the beginning, but if you mess with V brakes eneough, you know that the first place excess friction shows up is in that noodle. Plus, the "joint" between the regular housing and the noodle is a potential flex point and a kink waiting to happen.
Just my opinion of it. Still, a way nice looking rig and super light at that. Not for my neck of the woods though.