Making Short Work Of It

Recently I raved about my new found love, the {running skirt} all the while reiterating the fact that I could never replace my favorite things ever, norts. One of the best twitters, in my princess of norts opinion, is @nortsprobs, and like they once wisely said:
So the last time there was a sale on sale at I rushed over and picked up three pairs for under $60. That is basically hall of records of shopping status prices babes. Plus, they're all the cutest things ever and I can wear them everyday no matter the weather. I am even thinking of monogramming the solid pairs, which I still have yet to learn to do by hand (my Nonnie swears she'll teach me) and every lazy bone in body wants to splurge on an embroidery machine that will do it for me. Can you imagine the insanity that would go on if I owned an embroidery machine? Everything would have little critters and monograms on it, I wouldn't be complaining.
Now, here is where we get to the real subject: other shorts options. {Sweet Southern Prep} recently posted about her favorite pair of college shorts, Patagonia's "baggies". Intrigued, I look through their website and found a few pairs that I really liked.
The first pair I saw were the actual baggies that she had mentioned, they have a good color selection but retail for more than norts at $50 a piece. I also worry that they would be a little dowdy, not something I try to look like as I fumble to get dressed in the grumpy hours. However, she did mention that she rolled her's up and the length was fine, maybe that'd fix the dowdy-ness?
Second were the nine trails shorts which remind me more of norts, making the transition a little easier. These are too precious, I love the patterns and colors, but they once again are quite the money suckers at $50 a pop. But, I do love the pattern and think maybe one pair would be worth the splurge. 
In the end, I am totally wary of straying away from the comforting built in underwear clad norts (a feature which I don't even really enjoy) but also eager to explore new things. You gotta try things right? Have any of you tried either of these shorts, or even a different brand that you loved? Share, I like to know what everyone thinks before I go figure out what I think myself!