As important as a strong bike rim is the quality of your hub is paramount to a well rolling wheel. When building a good quality, top performing wheel, either for road or off-road, most people choose their hubs, investing the lions’ share of the cost on a quality hub with high quality casing, flange, axle, bearings, freehub and pawls.
Hubs, either for road or MTB now vary on how they fit the bike’s dropouts. And where once the various bolt-through options were for MTB only, you’ll now find a selection of bolt-through axles for road bikes too; mainly driven by the change to disk brakes from rim brakes. Focus R.A.T. (Rapid Axle Technology) is a prime example of a bolt through hub designed for use on road bikes.
If you are replacing a hub but not the rim, it is paramount you ensure the spoke count matches. Not all hubs are purchased for wheel building. There are occasions when a hub has failed due to poor maintenance or parts failure due to age but the rim remains in good condition (more likely with disk brake bikes where rim wear is less common). In such circumstances it is a good idea to replace the hub, like for like, especially with certain wheel brands, as rim/hub compatibility can be troublesome. Again Mavic and Fulcrum are prime examples.
Hope hubs, Hope hoops and Sapim or DT spokes is a popular choice for wheel builds and is likely to result in a wheel that will perform extremely well for a long time..