A couple things come to mind. First off, the 02 ZRs set a new standard for wide open trail handling for a "traditional" sled. Based on all the discussions on this forum, the ZR's also seem to require less "adjusting" to be spot on. That's good and bad. For the guys that can't/don't change their setups, the ZR chassis will be more forgiving (toe out, etc)..but it also will have boundries that the Firecat chassis can exceed if properly tuned. You can "get away with" just sitting on the ZR and rippin' down a trail...the Firecat seems to require more rider input (which most folks like, but some do not).
To answer your question about why the Firecat would be viewed as better...once it is set up properly (see Rob's setup journey as example of trial and error and how to determine what works for your individual style), it will give you all the ZR chassis will...and also some more. Some guys won't ever find that setup and some guys won't use the "more" that the Firecat offers, but the potential is there.
ZR potential lllllllllllllllllllll
Firecat potential lllllllllllllllllllll
If someone rides a well set up ZR (mine ) and a poorly set up Firecat, the ZR will handle better. Set up both to their potential and I think we have a new King for most riders. The only exception is that in some riding, weight can actually be your friend for stability...but generally lighter is better..Marc[/b]