The wait has gotta hurt!
1) What is your biggest pleasant surprise about your new AS?
The L-sofa. It's not as comfortable as a sofa option to sit on (really firm), but I think it's a more comfortable bed because of it's length (6"). You can always add a foam or nicer pillowtop for comfort; I've heard of complaints of the sofa as a sleeper. The short portion of the "L" makes a great chairback with a built-in ottoman as well for reading a book next to a window. Looks more modern as well in some aspects, like the CCD.
2) What things do you like best about it?
The floorplan. It is very liveable. It's the smallest, "full-on" A/S model out there. You get a separate living room, dinette, bath area, and bedroom. This was the most important aspect about our decision as we have a growing family and why we chose it over the 25 SS (only an extra 500 lbs).
The Amarillo package and Kitchen. Especially the dark countertops, wood laminate floor, stainless appliances. This is a great aesthetic compromise between the CCD (new agey)and Classic models (kinda old school). In fact, I believe this is what last year's International A/S looked like, the cousin of the CCD. Buy a lot of IKEA and we can rival the CCD line with a much warmer look!
Separate shower and bathroom. When we vacation, we are really active (biking, hiking, etc) and it's nice to have a separate shower and bathroom that two people could use simultaneously. Also, I didn't like the half bedroom/half bath option in the 25 SS. In the 28W, someone can use the bathroom with less likelihood of waking people up in the bedroom.
Ton of interior storage. Shower stall also has a ton of space for wet raincoats, discrete garbage can hideout, dog's bed, etc. Good size exterior compartment (e.g. golf bags too) and adequate-size bumper compartment.
3) If you could change a couple of things about it, what would it be?
Well, there's no place to put a microwave. It's not even an option. We debated if we really needed it too. There's a pretty decent thread "Oven or no oven" that addresses this. If you want one though, you'll have to bring it out when you need it. One of the overhead L-sofa cabinets though may be big enough to place a small 0.5 or so cubic foot microwave as a permanent location.
The windows aren't the fancy full open CCD windows. Only the bottom 1/5 opens out. But all windows are good-sized. The drapes are not light-blocking and look dated. Will likely change them over the day/night shades at some point.
The accordian doors are merely privacy barriers, not sound. Would rather have pocket doors for better soundproofing but no space. They're not very attractive either. However, we have found out that if you swing the bathroom door open and use the midship accordian door cover open (you'll know what I mean when you get it), it essentially makes a pocket door and is much better at soundproofing. We're probably going to remove them though and place better looking curtains instead.
Wish the shower stall floorspace was bigger. They made a raised seating area that takes up half the floorspace. You're forced to shower in a smaller shower than it appears. I supposed if you're disabled it would be a blessing though.
Wish I had an LP gas level indicator in the monitor panel like the CCD and Classic. Maybe it can be installed by the dealer.
4) What one thing dissappointed you?
There's a certain sense of "cheapness" to the interior that is accentuated by less than ideal workmanship and attention to detail in our unit (see my '04 QC thread). Don't think that this is a Safari model problem (vs. the more expensive Classic). Just a QC issue likely.
Overall, this is our ideal A/S. Same A/S exterior and engineering with a good-looking interior at a savings of about $10K over CCD/Classic. Don't anticipate we'll need anything bigger ever (honestly!). And it's towable with our current 1/2 ton Suburban until we eventually get a 3/4 ton.