SunTour's silver shifters have the selectable "friction mode" that Angelo mentions.
Of direct relevance to the OP, that page also notes there are some compatibility issues
"FLASH! SRAM's 9sp mountain rear derailers don't seem to work with this shifter. The movement of the derailer changes dramatically from the 8th to the 9th position. Why'd they do that? Anyway -- just don't use these with that derailer.
but notes that friction shifters in general are highly compatible
They work with any derailer, and freewheel, cassette, chain, etc., so you have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you'll never be midway between gears and powerless to do anything about it.
I've had good experiences with these shifters. I can swap rear wheels from bike to bike without worrying about the details of the rear cassette. This lets me wake up in the morning and decide whether I want the wheel with the granny or one with a more closely spaced cogset.
I have never used these shifters in indexed mode.