So, after a bunch of back-and-forth with Red to finally get the order right (Red needs a better system for this, but I won't get into it), we finally took delivery of #404 yesterday. No lenses yet (we're waiting on Birger; might borrow some PL glass to shoot tests in the meantime), but we did unpack everything, make sure it was all there, measure it all to figure out what cases to buy, and assemble it to check out weight and ergonomic issues.
First, what wasn't in the box. We didn't get our EVF (didn't really expect to). More surprisingly, we didn't get our AC adaptor or our right handle; those seem like odd candidates for being out of stock. I can see the lack of an AC adaptor getting us into trouble in some situations (remember, while the charger can power the camera, it can't power the camera and charge batteries at the same time), so hopefully that won't take too long.
To address some of the quality issues that people have raised: overall we're very pleased. The camera body is, as has been widely reported, built like a tank. We didn't actually toss the camera on a tripod, but the shoulder dovetail seems totally solid, and we don't seem to have the issue people reported earlier with drives not sitting securely in the cradle; ours lock in nicely. We do have one issue, though. The left handle won't attach. We just don't seem to be able to get it to tighten enough to grip the rod. Maybe we're doing something wrong, though.
A couple of parts do have some flaws in the anodizing of the sort that have been reported, but it's minor stuff (on the parts we got, anyway) and really doesn't bother us. In general I think that anodized surface is going to scratch really easily (indeed, some of our parts had minor scratches out of the box), but again... not a big deal.
In terms of form factor and weight, Red's parts seem to provide a fair bit of diversity. First, a few disclaimers about weight: these weights don't include a lens or matte box, and might be off by a pound or two because our methodology consisted of me stepping on an electronic bathroom scale with and without the camera, and doing some subtraction. (We'll probably buy a package scale and post more accurate numbers once we get the rest of our package together.)
We managed to build rigs ranging from 26 pounds (base production pack + top mounts with 12" rods + top handle and extension + LCD + battery + drive) down to about 16 pounds (everything listed above, but no drive, nothing on the bottom of the camera, and the QuickPlate, mounted off the back top mount, substituted for the cradle).
We could probably knock a couple of more pounds off that last configuration by getting rid of everything except one top mount and the top handle on the top of the camera. This plus some sort of light shoulder pad that screwed directly into the threaded holes on the bottom of the camera body could be a really interesting ultra light-weight configuration. Anyone know of a shoulder pad like that? Only problem with this arrangement is figuring out how to get the EVF or LCD positioned in a useful place... we've got some ideas on that score, but nothing firm yet.
We were a little confused by the fact that the top handle + extension combo doesn't reach quite far enough that it can be directly bolted to the two top mounts. It seems slightly crazy to have to have to use a universal mount to secure one end of it just because it isn't a half an inch longer. Assuming this is accurate and we weren't doing something wrong (can't see how we could have been), Red (or someone) should sell a little piece that screws in between the handle and extension and fixes this issue.
Overall everything has a very solid feel to it, and while it looks like there might be some third-parties that will manage to out-do Red for rod systems, etc. Red's stuff seems like a sold enough offering and a pretty good value.