The lowest price for a brand new ART-9 from japanese shops is about $800-900 if i remember correct, i'm pretty sure the japanese shop are official dealers, some of them can sell internationally (some will never do that). If you're buyin' a cartridge to use it for a long time, i think, saving $300 on grey market sample is not worth it (i did that by saving much more and regret it after all, but it wasn't the ART9).
When you're buyin from the official distributor you have full support, even if your cartridge is accidentaly damaged or simply require stylus retip when the stylus is worn, they can do that in Japan at Audio-Technica.
I'm not sure about AT policy regarding this particular model, this is why i am asking. If the factory retip is possible this is the best you can do when you need it. If the cantilever is damaged and you must have to replace it with a new cantilever you can only do that (equally) in Japan at Audio-Technica.
If you prefer to service all the cartridges at SoundSmith or any other experienced vendor then, i hope, you understand that it is ONLY a compromise, but definitely not the best solution. Why?
Let me quote J.Carr (Lyra cartridge Designer) below:
To retip a cartridge that was originally equipped with a stylus made by one manufacturer with one made by a different manufacturer is like rebuilding a Porsche engine with Jaguar pistons and crankshaft - the components used for rebuilding may be of high quality, but the design philosophy is rather different from the original.
Still, as one poster wrote above, changing only the stylus will alter the sound less than if the cantilever material is changed. When a cartridge is designed, the designer will consider the moving mass (sum of the stylus, cantilever and coils), the resonant character of the cantilever, and the (sonic) propagation velocity of the cantilever (affected by the cantilever's mass and rigidity), then choose the suspension and dampers accordingly. If you change the cantilever material, you are effectively throwing the original designer's calculations away.
There is much more (far more than what I have written above) to rebuilding a cartridge than affixing a new stylus or altering the cantilever. In over 30 years of involvement in the phono cartridge industry, I have not seen one retipper who has presented the entire story, who has effectively said "Here are the all of the considerations. Here are the cons as well as the pros. Make a wise choice that is best for you".