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I'm nearing the end of a training cross bike build. The bike will be used everywhere including my MTB routes, and it's on these routes that notice my race cross bikes STI's moving about when breaking on the very very rough ground.
Because of this minor niggle I've been contemplating fitting standard brake levers for stability on the rough, and fitting bar end shifters for the occasional gear change.
Any views or opinions on these units?

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I still run bar-end shifters just because they are cheaper and I don't run the risk of breaking them like STI levers.

If you aren't racing or just don't care that much, they are dead simple to operate and very reliable in all conditions. Go for it! If you are race-oriented and particularly sensitive to being different, then stick with the STI's.
I used to use bar end shifters.

I even recently contemplated putting them on a bike that was a single speed but that I want as a B bike now.

I also just watched an elite rider with bar-cons, desperately fiddle with his bar-con shifter while trying to stay upright in the sand at a local race. That cinched it for me and I ordered a single STI lever even though I am using SRAM on my A bike.

They work but improvements in technology are just that--improvements.

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