Honestly, here's my 2 cents. Ive got a few dozen plays on pirates now and I dont have a deposit down, nor am i a preorder; but i may be a potential buyer in the future. The Game simply kicks ass, and it is not because of the 3-disk spinner mech. That spinning disk only becomes a fun part of the game about 5% of the time. Most the time, when it's spinning, you hardly notice it - it's that 5% when the ball travels just right for the spinning mech to take over and give some fun wild ball returns.
That said; It's the other 95% of the games awesomeness that pulls a player in. From the layout (wide body that feels like a standard) to the fun shots, to the sound integration (Gibbs call outs are bad ass), to the ruleset. The PIRATE lanes are very fun to play. The upper orbit and gold rules are super fun. The 6 multiballs and stacking involved are fantastic. And the character selection, while their rewards seem minor, really help shape the variety of gameplay.
Honestly, the new chest mech should be something people should be talking more about. The shot is so cool but was so frustrating on prototype machines because it bricked 95% of the time; a working chest lock will be awesome. My biggest fear for the game; and this is with the old prototype spinning disk, is how these random award features will play a role - sometimes too much stuff can ruin gameplay and flow, so im still concerned for these award features and how they'll be implemented...will be over used, will it be too 'random' and be too dependent on random outcomes to make for a fun game which ultimately takes away from that fun? That is mainly why i am on hold on this title, not because of spinner gate.
Between Pirates and Maiden; these are 2 of the best pins ive ever played. Simply fantastic games on the horizon for our hobby. Owners of either (or both) will be very pleased.