I have begun to run a group through this AP and it is fantastic. The art, the story, the writing... superb. I never ran any groups through the original, so I can't compare the older version to this newer one. However, that ultimately doesn't even matter. This stands up so well with so many terrific characters and locations, it's an incredible value to have a complete six part AP in one awesome, beautifully printed and produced book.
I love this box. It makes homebrew games much easier to produce and manage. It also gives all my players lots of options for summoned creatures and companions. In my opinion, this makes more sense to purchase rather than spending tons of money on miniatures that you normally only use for a few moments per encounter anyway.
The main storyline is pretty thin as it is primarily constructed in a way to introduce the main characters. However, the characters don't honestly DO very much other than a bit of fighting and saying hello to each other. I understand their reasons for this, but I think the other upcoming issues to come will probably be more enjoyable and offer more interesting storylines and more developed plots.
The additional components to the book are terrific. The mini battle map is very nice and the flip side of it is a nice mini poster (the same picture on the cover of the Core Rule Book). As the previous reviewer noted, the additional NPC data and the short scenario is actually a really neat aspect of this product. It makes it that much more desirable and that much more worth purchasing.