Now that I think of it, I use a slightly different Ninetails set then most people. I want it to survive, but I don't want it to be a sitting duck...and that is what defensive Ninetails seems to be for me. It just can't handle enough pokemon, so I run an offensive set meant to survive.
Yeah, the idea sounds silly, but it works surprisingly well. I use a combination of protect and leftovers. Each time it comes in, if it has taken any damage at all, it uses protect on the next turn. The recovery is not much, but it definitely helps. If my opponent swaps out, it's even better, since protect will fail and I can use it again for two rounds of free leftovers recovery. If a Politoed, Tyranitar, or Hippowdown figures this out and tries to swap in as it uses protect, I try this one or two more times, then use Will-o-Wisp as they swap it(though Toxic would work to). As soon as the weather war is one, I have the Ninetales EVed for offense, so I start throwing around STAB, sun boosted Fire Blast, hopefully putting a dent in even pokemon that resist it. That attack has 135 power when resisted, so it hits relatively hard, considering that Ninetails only has 81 base special attack.
The only problem is that it struggles to really swap into anything...but can't that be said about all Ninetales sets?