Got to try the new bar yesterday. It's very nice and the "butter box" is a much more polished piece of gear. Releases and resets easier.
The depower rope/cleat seems smoother to pull and set, but I didn't notice it requiring any less force. As the wind built, it was still a bit of a chore to grab hold and pull it in, but not too bad.
The new handle looks nice but I liked the old one better. The new one is flat on two sides and protrudes on the 2 others...so, while nicer looking, it slips out of your wet hands under load and is harder to hold. The old handle that was round all the way around was easier to hold when slippery. My friend demo'd the bar and he actually likes to hook his leash right above the depower handle, as a suicide leash. With the new handle the slingshot carbiner will slip right past the handle. Don't know if that matters to most, it isn't a normal attachment point.
Everything else was fine and, as usual, it's a solid and simple bar. Overall it's an improvement for certain, just for the minor redesign of the entire butter box assembly.