Thanks for getting this up so quickly! Looks like I made, if not the right one, at least not the wrong one, to wait and see what it was like before buying any myself. Those casting issues would really piss me off for something, as you say, that costs about £100.
I'll be waiting for a while for them to get their quality control together before investing, I think. And I need to sell off more of my 40k before I can afford it anyway!
How does each side "feel"? It's something FFG have got right most of the time in the X-Wing game - a TIE feels like a TIE, and a B-Wing like a B-Wing. Does a Star Destroyer feel like a Star Destroyer? Do Fighters feel like their movie/tabletop counterparts?
Yeah the casting issues did dampen my hype (which I had aplenty). However the game itself is great.
Star Destroyers handle like powerful but slow behemoths, whilst my girlfriends frigate and especially corvette ran rings around it. However, when she made a slip up and got a full frontal volley from the star destroyer, the corvette got cut down to less than half its hull points. (This was after the shields on the side were downed due to tie fighters chasing it.) Meanwhile the frigate is a good all rounder, can dish out the hurt and take a bit. But its main strength was coordinating the x-wings to really do damage to my tie fighters and star destroyer afterwards.
So the feel of the big ships is really on point as far as I can tell now.
As far as the fighters, the tie's are fast and cheap, but fragile, with swarm tactics promoting ganging up on other fighters. The x-wings on the other hand are very hard to kill and with some lucky rolls can really damage the bigger ships. For example: I got a power failure on my star destroyer due to my girlfriend getting a lucky critical with her x-wings, after having them flown around to a side where it's shields were down. This resulted in me being unable to properly use the repair command for half of the game, which in the end net her the victory as I couldn't get my shields back up to prevent the frigate who was in the rear of the destroyer unloading on the aft section for 2 turns.
So to be short: yeah they nailed the feel in my opinion.