oh, you cynic, you!!
I wasn't expecting a hardback with lavish production values, personally I blame GW, if they think they can get away with charging silly money for their stuff then everybody else will jump on the bandwagon. There is a similar thread running on TMP at the moment. If I were a betting man, I'd put a shilling on the decision to put out the different format being made by the publisher rather than the author
Having said that, Billy, Robert and I have been playtesting various parts of the new version for well over a year, I'd like to think that the new version will indeed be a better one, there are many facets of it that will speed up play, and some of the unintended quirks in the existing edition (spot-welded mass attack columns being an example) have been dealt with.
Why don't you join us for a two day game in early November and see them in action