Quoted from 85vett:
Agreed with all but one point. I actually prefer the change in the lock down bar. It holds things so much tighter and really isn't any harder to remove or install the lock bar. I think they got this change right. Now the rest of them.... That's another story...
This slide lock is adjustable on the INSIDE, versus the old screw adjusting style used with BLY/WMS game.
Not anywhere near as convenient, but you can keep it cranked tight, unless it hard routed and slopped up, requiring replacement parts.
Separately, anytime a person states "they really do not mind", Stern or another company removes a feature, and tests the waters just like pricing, further removing the device from commercial quality.
Operators do mind, but are no longer have the "muscle" to effect sales and construction like they did in the 90s.
Operators were the ones that created the sliding playfield forward maintenance locks implemented by BLY/WMS in 1992 for example. The concept was not patented by the operator who made a sample to help others. Due to the way the private market is today, manufacturers are quite safe to remove something knowing a home user will never recognize the difference.
It is just like an owner crying "Fire!" that playfields never had clear coat issues until 2015 on MET or 2016 on GB, which is of course simply untrue, but people just "crossed their fingers" and bought games anyway.
The reality is hardcore collectors and some enthusiasts will provide solutions to manufacture problems long before a manufacturer fixes the problem themselves. Many provide the direct solutions as noted above, and even game specific corrections to the manufacturers to improve the production line games. LOTR is a great example that was improved by private owner "corrections" based on modifications including the sword ramp, Gimli hole, Balrog, and one ring.