For 1999 Shimano introduced the Shimano Deore XT (M750) series with a lot of noise about ‘mega 9’ speed gearing. These were nice enough derailleurs, but you could now clearly tell that Shimano saw XTR as their premium (rather than super-premium) offer and Deore XT was becoming a little commonplace. There is no polished alloy or even polished chrome on this derailleur - all the finishes are painted, the pulley wheels are decent enough, with ceramic bushings in the guide pulley - but they look cheap and rattle rather blatantly. Despite this, it all works well, and should keep doing so - the hanger and pulley bolts are stainless steel, the parallelogram pivots are flourine coated and (most important of all) it’s top normal.
This example is an unusual short pulley cage version which I do not think was sold in Europe. The combination of a 49mm cage and 11 tooth pulleys means that the chain can barely squeeze through the gap.
I like the rubber boot on the adjustable outer cable stop.