Re: 8 wt for striper
I'd look at a St. Croix Avid and a Cablela SLi. Also, if you want to spend a little more you might still be able to get a Sage SLT on a closeout. All these rods are moderate fast. (So is one of the new TFO rods.)
As for reels I like the Orvis Battenkill LA. They're not too expensive and the new models are a little lighter than the old.