Re: Neji vs Sauke begining of shippuden.
I feel Neji's possible defenses against ninjutsu are being underrated, even if you completely exclude Kaiten. Neji can see when, where, how much, what type and what shape of chakra is being built up for a ninjutsu while the building-up-process is going on, giving him significant insight into exactly what he should do to counter any ninjutsu and granting him dodging abilities on par with if not greater than the Sharingan. Only if he is able to estimate exactly what kind of technique is going to be used, but in my opinion he can.
Originally Posted by Bogard
Remember that Neji's Part 1 skills are more than comparable to Sasuke's in terms of raw intellect. Neji reverse engineered the apparently supremely difficult Kaiten and Eight Triagrams 64 Palms through observation, trial and error while Sasuke learnt techniques and taijutsu through the Sharingan's copying ability AND personal tuition from a skilled jounin. Neji's battle with Kidomaru was also an extremely cerebral battle against an unconventional opponent in which he was in the end victorious.
However, Neji likely has less experience predicting ninjutsu than taijutsu so some might get through. However, he is a jounin (how long he has been is unknown) and is not inexperienced in the area.
Neji should be able to dodge a significant fraction of Sasuke's ninjutsu even without Kaiten. How does he fare in hand-to-hand and speed?
A Hyuuga's life is taijutsu, and Neji has demonstrated INSANE close range speed even in part 1. He's on a team with Konoha's (perhaps all of the Elemental Countries') greatest taijutsu master and his personal apprentice (and Tenten, though that is irrelevant), both of whom he presumably spars regularly. Neji was driven, perhaps more so than Sasuke, when he was placed on the most ridiculously hard-working team in Konoha. I refuse to believe that Sasuke has gained a significant amount on Neji in skill during the time-skip.
So, Neji is on a taijutsu-specialized team and is frequently challenged to spars by Lee, which he seems to accept and deal with well enough. Though Lee has moved away from his goal of beating Neji after the Chuunin Exams, he would still keep challenging his rival, and he would give his all in every challenge. Neji has, at the very least, kept up with Lee's growth over the timeskip, if not increasing the gap between them. (You know, if Lee's not using the Gates. If he is it's a totally different situation.)
And initial Shippuden Lee is faster than initial Shippuden Sasuke. Sasuke's speed was copied directly from Lee's own, and though he must have worked on speed-training he CAN'T have done so with the same MANIC FERVOUR as the youngest Green Beast. Lee can only have increased more than Sasuke in speed, at least unweighted.
Neji can deal with speed, even if it is superior to his own. And his own speed is equal to Sasuke in the Databook, so we can't assume Sasuke can even pretend to blitz him, possibly superior Shunshin or not. Neji's entire style is based on reaching his opponent to deal MASSIVE DAMAGE (TM), wouldn't he of all people work on his Shunshin for that reason alone?
Taijutsuwise, Sasuke would be roughly equal to unweighted (but Gateless) Lee. His strength, technique and endurance haven't got Lee's endless practice behind them, but he makes up for it with the Sharingan and close-range ninjutsu capapilities. Neji can match or even exceed Lee in taijutsu, and is tailor-made to disable ninjutsu users.
Neji can handle Base Sasuke Mid-High diff.
EDIT: Apparently I'm being generous with my assumptions about Sasuke's taijutsu, sorry about that. Perhaps simply Mid difficulty is more accurate?