Is the hip armor similar to that in the Baja's, or is it more substantial? FWIW I didn't find it hard to upgrade the armor with some of the DIY pad sheets that Bohn sells, and I absolutely love the pants otherwise. For me, the 3m piping is a big plus. To get to my trail spots requires a damn decent ride on the road, and often ride at night/dusk/dawn getting to spots, so extra visibility on the road is appreciated. I like the plainer looks of the new ones too.
I'll probably get a pair of the new Dakar's this winter for cooler weather rides. Unless, of course, they're going to be doing a similar update to the Chinooks... I still like ITB pants.