New Ashford, old Ashford?

Can anyone speak knowledgeably about the differences, to the weaver, of the new vs. old style of ashford table loom?  I have an opportunity to buy an older 8-shaft (white plastic parts) of the style demonstrated so effectively by davewhiz, or splurge on a new one (grey plastic parts).  As I understand it, the older looms (white) sit a bit taller, use longer heddles, and have longer levers.  I would think longer heddles is a big plus. To me, not having to assemble a new loom from scratch is good. On the other hand, the used loom is a bit worse for wear (heddle rods don't sit evenly). The metal (old) vs. plastic (new) ratchet and pawl doesn't really concern me.  I just wonder if the newer design is really an improvement. If I go all the way and splurge on a 16-shaft, of course, it is only available in the new style.

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