I spotted this comment on the FLL forums and thought it was worthy of a bump.
As someone who has been involved since the beginning, I believe this year's challenge is the best ever for the real goal of the competition: making successful autonomous robots... I think the rest of the problems are very good. And if there are more 400's, so what?... I think the top robots will be the best that we have ever seen. There is a much more realistic feel to everything. There are few items which can be scored by aiming. There are definite "zones" which have lots of things to do, but little benefit from multiple trips, meaning the robot has to be very flexible. In short, the best ever. The rules are the best ever as well... It is great! If you are new to this, enjoy it. It has taken 11 years to get this far.