My first exposure to the new metal box design was helping my friend unbox his IM. My thoughts:
* It's smart to use leg bolts to secure the box. I have tons of them.
* If the side panels get damaged, you can replace them. That's cool.
* If any other part of the head gets damaged, you'll have a dent. Not as cool.
* I prefer the seamless appearance of an all-wood, mitered backbox.
* This is a cost reduction, right?
Overall this wouldn't stop me from buying a really good new game, but it's a bit disappointing.