- per your original post, I doubt the fan base will ever really be done complaining. It does seem like GW might be producing things more in line with what the consumer generally speaking wants.
My guess would be that following the production of Dark Vengeance GW managed to revise their development pipe-line in a number of ways to streamline the design and production process in plastics. Working on this assumption it looks like they are able to bring new spiffy models to market. I would also hazard that this is the core of their business strategy "keep the consumer interested and excited." All of that is basically good. I think the remaining problem is, and will likely remain the cost.
The cost of the product seems
astronomical. Considering GW is selling primarily plastic miniatures . . a few examples: 5 plastic Skullreaper models for $57.00 or any of the plastic terminators at 5 models for $50.00, the space marine tactical squad at 10 models for $40.00.
A lot of these are well designed and very cool, but has the production cost of plastic models really outstripped inflation so far? As far as I can tell the Khorne Berzerker box is right about inline with inflation at $37.25 for 12 Berzerkers, or 3.10 per model. And these are comparatively dated now. There's certainly an argument to be made for additional parts in these sets and the cost for producing them, but the costs seems to have much more to do with points value or number available in an army, or necessary e.g. the $30.00 plastic space marine captain.
That just seems like foolishness to me.
I'm sure there's an analyst somewhere looking at the purchase curve for models related to the number the army requires compared to the cost and they figured out about how far they can push it, but clearly a $30 Space marine captain is absurd compared to a $3.10 Berserker or even a $10.00 Skullreaper.
Other than the cost factors which I think will always be a sticking point, and where GW will always be willing to push juuuust a little harder I'd say they are doing a better job.
The stater sets are better than they ever have been. The models are beautiful and comparatively still a great deal. The books have only gotten better over the last 4 editions. Ironically, in my opinion, they have improved as they have gotten closer to 2nd edition again (now if they'd only dump AP value and return to save modifiers!). The book rule books though have gotten better. 3rd ed's was awful; ugly, hard to use, a poorly bound. Each iteration there after improved until they even added an index! 6th was a nice book but the rules needed tuning and balancing. And as I understand 7th ed sop far the new books are well made. GW listened that people wanted to split the rules from the other sections of the BRB and made the new version Rules, Hobby, and History.
And finally it seems like they are making moves towards enlivening the fluff of the world. It has been largely static for some 15 (or more) years and that represented a problem. Forge World and Black libaray branched backwards into 30k and GW will continue pushing the central stories of 40k and Fantasy battle forward. Hopefully there is enough movement to keep everyone interested and engaged.
Cost is, was, and will remain a problem.
Otherwise the game has been tightened and improved since the debacle of the 3rd edition rewrite and the cost of business (petroleum/plastics) appears to be decreasing so the future looks bright!