In my experience, 2000 miles out of a 9/10 speed chain is pretty typical. Some brands do seem to be objectively better than others (see page 44 and onward), however, so your mileage may vary.
Regarding measuring the wear of a chain, a steel ruler is highly effective. Some would argue that chain checkers are made to sell chains, not really measure the wear on them, but they are generally conservative in that they typically factor in roller/bushing wear.
I have read claims of longer life from 9/10 speed chains, and I'm actually in the middle of testing a couple of new "treatments" to see if they extend chain life. First, I switched lubricants. Previously I had been using various teflon-carrying oils, wax based lubes, even ATF (automatic transmission fluid). Now I'm using Dumonde (review here), and I also bought an ultrasonic cleaner which I have used to clean my chain.
I'll be happy to come back here and post an update when the time is right. Currently my new chain (lubed with Dumonde lite and cleaned with the ultrasonic cleaner after 800 miles of riding) is at 900 miles and counting.
One thing I will mention regarding the Dumonde, it does help me to have a very clean drivetrain, which I appreciate (and never really seemed to achieve with other lubes).
BTW, this shows when I replace my chain, when it has "stretched" by 1/16." That particular chain was lubed with wax lube, mainly, and lasted 2000 miles: