delay in sound...true, very slight mind you
harsh sounding....a bit, but you adapt and learn how to avoid that. most of the time, making sure you hit a note perfectly clean and square with the pick will prevent that sort of thing.
tone degradation....not enough to notice, don't worry about that, it'll happen with all of them.
tracking problems....not that I've noticed, could be wrong, but haven't heard of that being a problem.
The first one is the best...the original whammy. I almost went and paid considerably more for one, because I'm a control freak, and there is no substitute for the best. but let me tell you....it is an accent pedal, and not a centre peice of your rig, which means that unless u plan to use it as more than what it generally gets used for, it may not worth the extra money.
Of course, if your building whole songs around it, or just trying to make discriminating ears dance, then maybe a little more cash is worth spending.
Songs like touching tounges by Vai use it heavily; i did a cover of that with my re-issue. He uses the original, of course. With some careful playing, the new version did a fine job living up to its older friend as far as tone goes. Check out my version,
and then listen to Vai's version. A difference there is, sure, but u can judge for yourself if the difference in the tone in the various whammy sections is worth your cash. Hope this helps a bit
Hopefully you'll be able to hear exactly what the difference is.
To summarize, one is a bit better than the other, and the advice you've been giving is half right, half wrong. however, most people don't need the whammy enough to justify the extra cash spent, because the re-issue is not bad....its just not quite as good as the first.
original is 9 out of 10. the reissue is almost an 8 out of 10...i'd say a 7.8.