I also have both the old and new versions from Tyler. I agree with Ben about the heft, but you can't beat the plastic version for portability. Mine will be going with me to France for the skiing vacation.
I understand that the Gill rings have a rough surface, which is a plus, as a firm false grip is imperative. However, you can rough it up yourself with sandpaper or put on grip tape for tennis raquets. I prefer having some sort of tape on them (either version), as I need some cushion.