Re: The new Hardy's
This is why Hardy has no intention of dumping their classics. When you go to their site you actually have to click on seperate catagory tabs for the classic and new performance reels. And I don't consider it odd at all to use a click and pawl Hardy with patina on a small stream and a (too) shiney, sealed multi-disc drag on a bigger water outfit where rapid retrieve and more powerfull drag is advantagous.
Regarding the above comparison to the Waterworks reels: True, they are both modern light weight skeleton designs but the principal diffrences are in the drag design and the all-important aspect ratio. The Hardy has a sealed multi-disc array while the Waterworks has a non-sealed brace of nestled cones and the Hardy is narrow for uniform and intuitive line retreaval while the Waterworks is wide and shallow requiring attention be paid to avoid uneven line build-up. I do believe the Hardy designers looked carefully at the competion and strove to improve the performance envelop rather than just have a new price point product.
Lastly, Hardy Reels, I find it implausable that any aspect of a sport featuring grey haired men in baggy waders wandering around in cold water at dawn can ever legitimatly be described as "sexy".