Here is my off the top of my head impressions of the two pins. I didn't know the rules to either one and I never read the rules and never watched any explanation tutorials so I was going in the dark and also I still don't know too much about the rules. I know things like how to start the main MB on Wonka and various modes on JP but overall the rules (how to play) are not clear for either one. This is my impression of how the games looked and feel and how they shoot not really anything about the scoring or stacking and such. Just shooting and looking at the games this is what I found.
1) have been collecting pins for 14 years and have owned a lot of top pins like B/W heavyweights, CGC remakes, Stern Whitestar, SAM and Spike as well as Spooky and JJP pins.
2) I don't have any bias against any pins maker, one time I owned all Stern maybe 7 Stern and nothing else so I have nothing against Stern pins.
3) I am a lot into rules, art, sound, shots, music, layout, ramps, toys and gimmicks. I place. these factors higher than theme, I am not a person who swoons over a theme. I love Pink Floyd for example but that does not mean I would just buy a Pink Floyd pin because it's has to be good in the other areas I mentioned.
4) I am looking to buy something new and have cleared the deck so to speak selling my AcDc premium not because I dislike the pin (It's one of my favorites) but I wanted to have some room to get something new.
I had played Wonka before but only 3 games and wasn't that blown away the first time playing, I almost wrote it off because it was just ok. Note that this was a different Wonka machine and maybe that has something to do with my feeling or maybe the first time I was not able to appreciate the layout.
First few games on each I was unimpressed but as I played more I was able to glean some more of the rules and feel out the shots. For both I was at a C- but as I played both I got up to a B+ rating.
Here is one point (IMO) Wonka LE ($9500) vs JP pro ($5600) so this is not a fair comparison a premium or JP LE would level the playing field a bit money wise. But to me hands down seven days a week and twice on Sunday Wonka feels a lot (A lot) more solid and smooth shooting and the lighting on Wonka better (I love color changing inserts). I think Wonka is a bit darker and I think it could use some more GI but I still give the lighting a big win for Wonka. As for solidness and feel Wonka is just a lot more substantial than JP. I am not going to get torn up about the feel or heft of a game but the latest Stern games might feel less substantial than earlier SAM pins. It is what it is. JP feels the same as DP feels the same as Maiden. there are GREAT pins just don't feel as solid as some other Stern from the past much less JJP pins. I'm over it. I do think it's kind of appalling if Stern charges $9K for any LE but hey can charge it if people pay it, but we are talking about a pro and it it costs 40% less than JJP LE so JP is a good deal to me for the money. And while JP, DP, Maiden feel less substantial they are still great pins.
Wonka does have a rules problem of not feeling like the movie. I wish it was more like LotR for example where you play the movie. I am not sure if I like the overall rules, sounds and callouts but the game shoots like butter and it looks great. Hopefully maybe it gets better with code updates but if this is the entire package of assets and sound effect, I am not sure there is enough to make me buy one. I love the Gobstopper ball lock and love the ramp diverters.
JP also does not play the movie either, but it does make it seem like a board game so to me overall this is more of my idea of something with more possibilities. I do think the pro is missing a good bit (I need to see the Raptor pen especially and the T-Rex on the premium). I am not sure if this will make it better but just to me the Raptor pen feels like it's unfinished. I feel the shot of the upper loop is not even close to the magic loops on Maiden. Maybe with time I can rip the loop but currently to me it's kind of so-so. I did not like the jeep Newton balls mech on JP. I am not a fan of rotaiting toys like this (lamp on TotAN for example). Overall JP is a very solid effort but not sure it better than DP and (Iron Maiden is probably the stronger pro and probably will rate higher than JP years form now).
I love both of them but not sure/undecided yet which would get my money or neither because as I said Maiden will leave the nest and I may just want to replace it with another Maiden (or DP)?
Give me a choice money no object I would pick Wonka but with money factored in maybe JP as the value play. I'd say the Wonkanator is very under used (at least as for my understanding so it's not a huge miss if you had to get a standard Wonka). To me that toy seems like the ultimate *can live without it* toy.