Hmmyeah, I respect your thoughts about the Xones, but my opinion is different.
Maybe you guys know I was a big fan of Rodec (I still am), but still I'm going to buy a Xone instead.
Allen & Heath is using it's huge experience in audio building to provide what is one of the best mixers around. So, yeah there were some problems with some units that fried out. Oh you think only Xone has that? Think again. I've seen more DJM's blow up than any other mixer (last month was the most recent), maybe that's why I'll never buy one. All respect to the guys that love their DJM's and why it became the standard (it's ease of use), but it really doesn't cut it for me. You know, even Rane's and Rodecs can die (quite easily in fact).
All piece of equipment have flaws, but the difference between crap manufacturers and good ones is that the good ones learn from their errors (and have good customer support). Need I remind you that some of the known Rane mixers are revisions too? (TTM series for example).
Just to give an example : the DJMs, how many DJMs are there in circulation right now? Yeah, I've seen a lot blown, but generally the quality is good enough to ensure you it will work for a long time.
Buy a budget or badly designed mixer and you'll know FOR SURE that something will break down after I while.
As for the Xones, the second revisions were mostly estethic/design changes. The first version had shiny plates, you know well enough how difficult it is to keep it that way (fingerprints anyone?), the EQ knobs where black, but some dj's want to see the knobs in the dark.
The only real big change is the xfader. They probably thought that for the price you pay the Xone, they might as well give you the best you can get (and believe me the ALPS one isn't really crap either). But for the rest the electronics didn't change much at all. It works, so why change it.
It's just a matter of preference. It's like you would compare a Ferrari to a Lamborghini. Both are jewels, but some will say Ferrari is crap, others will say the opposite. (I'm more a Lambo man myself ).
Silence is the most fragile of things. Even the faintest breath can shatter it...