Actually, I'm ok with 8 or 9. It was just this past Monday that I wasn't able to make it home on time - won't be a regular occurence. I plan on playing in the remainder of the buy-ins (hopefully anyways).
So I'm ok with leaving it at 9, or switching it to 8. If switching to 8 is going to get us more players, then I think we should try it. What do we have to lose?