Lets start with what I was expecting: a laid back, encourage me to take it slower, licence and life saving bike that will still respond to my needs when the devils horns come out. It has met those expectations. Added bonuses are a fairly sensible bunch of HOG members that are very accepting of the new line.
The handling is good now that I have uprated the front springs (easy and cheap) to stop bottoming out in braking and chatter in corners; and the rear suspension changed for WPs. The original seat is plush but the wrong shape for anything but Sunday mornings, the Sundowner has less padding and supports the lower back making it a 500 miler.
Overall quality is good but you do have to keep an eye out for the odd area, usually bolt heads, that can rust as you look at them. Minor problems over the last 6000 miles only, fixed with a smile and excellent service that you expect from Harley.
On the Value aspect I am still not certain. It compares with the suzuki, honda, bmw (Harley heated grips are the best) and I can now afford a Harley. However, value for money, maybe, by another, yes.
Finally, the engine. I see that the 2008s will have the 1250 engine. Not needed. An overdrive or 6th gear to squeeze more mpg in cruising mode would be good. Having said that I get 40mpg, nearly 200 miles to the tank and still use all 9000 rpm occasionally. If the Harley officianados don't like a high revving engine that you have to knock down a gear or 2 for a great overtake, don't get the Rod, get an air cooled tractor (sorry).