Thanks. hirheadlights.com was part of my reading and I googled for a few hours on the subject so I do have some background.
It appears that there is no such thing as a classification for HIR bulbs, HIR1 and HIR2 are simply bulb identification numbers (just like H7, or H4 etc). A given bulb model (say 9011, or HIR1) must fit the rated specs of this model: amount of light they emit, the wattage and the physical shape (the original GE bulb that started it all happened to be using HIR technology so for some reason they included it in the bulb number). How the manufacturers achieve those specs (HIR technology or not, etc) is up to them.
This is what I read on the link above, Philips put together a bulb that was achieving the same output, but without using the HIR technology. And it looks like this information came back on many different sites. Philips did that so that they could provide a replacement bulb for cars that were equiped with the GE bulbs that broke easily.
Uncle Scotty, I do know they all rock big time, but I would rather have a bulb that uses the HIR technology instead of overdriven/shorter life filament (this is what some of my google research resulted).
So in short I would be very happy if you could tell me where you got information on the new updated 9011 (not 9012, 9011 really) and what differs, because I would like to know how to tell if I am getting the newer ones or the older design. Maybe you were referring to candlepowerforums site ? I have found a detailed thread about the newer 9012 there, but the site crashed yesterday so it was not part of my latest searches.
Just so you know I ordered Philips 9011 and Toshiba from hirheadlights.com.