The following comments are based on my assumption that you're primarily targeting trout in moving water. Since you're in SoCal, you'll most likely travel to the Upper Kern in the Southern Sierras and Upper/Lower Owens in the Mammoth/Bishop area. I'm also in SoCal, and the Kern and Owens are my typical overnight or weekend destinations.
The Orvis Clearwater 905-4 Outfit will work fine for a variety of fly sizes (weighted streamers to small midges) in all of the those waters. My personal preference is to balance the line weight to the both the flies I typically throw and the size of fish I expect catch. I rarely throw streamers and most of the fish I catch in the mentioned waters are not huge. If I had to have only one rod for the locations mentioned, it would probably be a 8'6" 4 weight. My preference is for rods that feel light/crisp in the hand. 9' rods use more material in the butt section and generally have higher swing weight which results in a heavier overall feel. I do appreciate the versatility of longer rods when it comes to mending and line/leader control (more reach to hold line off the water in some situations).
As for brands, Orvis and Sage are great companies and both offer rods in the ~$200-$800+ range. Echo, TFO, and Redington offer some great fishing rods in the <$200 range. If you're looking for value, I would look at those brands as well. Warranty and customer service are supposedly pretty good as well.
Reels are nothing more than line storage devices when fly fishing for trout. For 9' rods, go with something about 5.5 oz or lighter. For rods 8'6" and shorter, go with 4.5 oz or even lighter.
Fancy, high end, high performance stuff is always nice to own, but it doesn't have to be that nice to catch fish. I also buy my gear on eBay, used, or on sale/clearance from online vendors. There are a lot of independent fly shops throughout the country who've figured out how to take advantage of the internet. Regardless of whether you walk in or buy through the mail, this is a win for both the shop (who expands their customer base) and the customer (who finds an assortment of deals on new, closeout, and used gear).
A really good statement I found from an online outfitter is this: "Fly fishing is not a sport of necessities. It is a sport of preferences, opinions, credos and mystique. There are no right and wrong choices."
How to Choose a Fly Rod