I've been talking about this Ortofon v Shure thing for years. The funny thing is, I (and hundreds with me) now buy the replacement styli for our m44-7 systems from Tonar, a company located in my birthplace.
The original replacement stylus (n44-7 or C) is sometimes hard to find now. Two dealers have actually told me that they are not being made anymore. This is a bit of an issue because this type of needle is relatively fragile, especially if you take the cartridge off a lot and move the turntables all the time.
I have not been able to notice any difference in sound quality or tracking force between the
n44-7 and the Tonar version. However the Tonar does not come with a stylus guard.