Layout doesnt bother me. Really there is only so much you can do with a 2' x 4' piece of wood and with hundreds of games designed over the last 6 decades, things are bound to look similar. Remember the threads when the first playfield shots of Tron came out? Everyone was comparing it's layout to Funhouse & Tommy. However the game played nothing like them.
I think the disappointment with this game so far is everyone knows Steves known for being the "first" to introduce new innovative things and this machine so far from the looks has failed to deliver, wheither it be LCD display, color dmd or something unseen yet. Futhermore color dmd and lcd display are overdue considering the competition has already done it. So the frustration is WHAT on this game justifies the highest price tag Stern is asking to date.
Unfortunately Sterns philosophy has become. "Less is more". Less game...for more money.
Heck as much as i hate WOZ for its gameplay feel, i gotta say buyers of that game are getting a full feature packed game with all the bells and whistles. Buyers of WOZ can feel comfortable knowing they know why it cost what it did, and im sure the same can be said whenever The Hobbit comes out.
I'm not bias im not in on The Hobbit either, never cared for any of those LOTR movies.