Thought I'd emerge from hibernation just to chime in on this set. In short, it's fantastic! Granted it's one of my favorite vehicles from the films, but that said, it's definitely worth buying IMHO. Here's a few thoughts....
A bit repetitive, but in the end all the beams and pins provide surprising strength. I've read posts here and there that mention a weakness in the stabilizer tips - I have not experienced that. LOTS of 1x1 plates and such, my fingerprints have worn off. Inside the stacks of beams you slide free floating axles that provide stability, but make sure they don't slide out while you're handling the wings during construction. If you have to reverse a few steps because of this, it's a bit of a pain. Attaching both wings to the fuselage is a bit tricky, and requires a lot of pressure to slide the 4 connecting pins through - patience is called for in this step. I would recommend a roomy flat surface for wing construction, like a countertop - much easier.
Much more interesting to build, and the shape and overall look is spot-on. The main body of the shuttle is sturdy, and there's plenty of places to apply pressure to press all the components together securely - the lack thereof is a big pet peeve of mine. This one is solid. I would recommend adding the bottom navigation lights later, so it can sit completely flat during construction.
Innovative construction design and looks great when finished, especially the light gray bottom section. The lack of a working boarding ramp is unfortunate, but I do like how the cockpit opens.
Odds 'n Ends
I really like how it sits on only two landing gear feet like the ILM model - looks cool, and it's very well balanced. When you lift the whole ship to attach the landing gear assembly, it's not uncommon for the wings to flop around due to all the play in the gearing. This may be my one complaint, but it's still managable overall. The keys that are used to crank the wings up and down are easily removable. The vertical stabilizer is also guilty of being just a bit floppy, but still well-attached to the main body.
Overall, I like this set just as much as the UCS Falcon and ISD. A real beauty for sure! Thank you, LEGO, for producing one of my 'dream sets.'