Welcome back, and 1.9 just came out so there's not many plugins out for it yet.
Essentials and worldguard are still used. Can't confirm if they work or not yet, but I can confirm that WorldEdit and CoreProtect work already.
Permissions wise, I haven't worked with them in a while either, but bPermissions or good old GroupManager should work fine.
I could never get essentialsx to work either.
And /setspawn doesn't work any more to my knowledge. If you want to set the point at which new players spawn in, doing /setworldspawn should work.
Ah i didn't know 1.9 hasn't been out long, i guess i came back to mc 2-3 days after that released.. Thanks for the reply, The last Essentials update i saw was on their jenkins page but saw no actual info on the plugin itself like command and such which kind've confused me. [ https://hub.spigotmc.org/jenkins/job/Spigot-Essentials/ ]
I'll definitely check out coreprotect, and that's good that Good ol GroupManager is a thing, i used that way back when..
/setworldspawn is so damn iffy, i figured there'd be a plugin for that now or something cus all of the servers i hopped on all had perfect spawn points and not "within 5 blocks" like mine :-/