" . . . but I think many of the grade changes were justified."
I'm curious; what grade changes do you think were accurate?
I can't be in complete agreement with exact grades since it's been a few years since I've climbed some of the routes. I'm no expert, I'm just an ordinary climber, but some of the climbs feel harder than the grades Swain and Williams have in their guides.
I've already mentioned that I think Shockley's isn't a 5.6. It sure felt to be around an 8 each time I did it.
Laurel has a 5.8/5.9 boulder problem on it. It's easy to dismiss since it's the first move. I'd probably lean towards 5.8, but I'm tall and I believe it's harder for shorter people.
Raubenheimer Special feels like an easy 8 to me. Again it's a boulder problem so it's seems cheap to give the whole route a 5.8 when the rest of it is so much easier but that's how it's done.
I haven't been on Baby in a long time, but I vividly remember the time I first did it 10 years ago. I was leading 5.12 at the time and thought Baby would be a good cruise. I was pretty shocked at how hard a 5.6 could be. Now maybe I was missing a key hold or clueless on the particular offwidth technique required.
The Dangler at 5.10a? Seems about right.
Coexistence at 5.11a? Seems about right.
Balrog at 5.11b? I don't know, maybe 10d.
Modern Times is burly. It gives me almost as much of a workout that Doubleissma does. Is it 5.10? I don't know, but 5.9 even seems slightly soft for it. Probably 5.9.
Dogs in Heat was actually downgraded correctly (my opinion of course)to 5.10d. I'm surprised no one has mentioned this.
Most of the climbs in the book have the same grade as the Grey Dick. I don't really care to take a count, but the grades that were changed only reflect a small portion climbs in the guide.
As for the weight of the guide, I agree that it will probably bow to the Grey Dick guide for frequent Gunks' climbers. The scope of the guide doesn't make sense for someone who gets out to the cliff every weekend. The interesting thing though is that some of these climber bought it anyway just because they like to have every Gunks guide.