My understanding is that they are coming out with ANOTHER design for people who don't need to access the ports while shooting. NOT A REDESIGN.
>A Note About Plate Design & Port Access
"In designing any product, we place equal priority on ergonomics and beauty versus functionality. In the case of this plate, however, functionality has over-ridden our ergonomic goals. Nikon (and other camera manufacturers) have increasingly designed more and larger apparatus/ports on the left side of the camera, and this is particularly the case with the D700. In order to achieve accessibility to those ports as well as allow tethering the camera to a computer while shooting, our L-plate design is admittedly on the bulky, inelegant side. We are aware that many are more interested in a trim design than having accessibility to the ports on the left of the camera. We will introduce such a plate by mid-late August. Those customers will also be glad to know that the current L-plate for the MB-D10 battery grip looks and works beautifully with the D700 (although blocks access to the HDMI, video-out and USB ports)."<
I will admit that at first glance I was a little surprised at the design, but I'm one of the group that looks don't mean as much as functionality.
The RRS attention to detail is second to none. I can't tell you how many times I have cursed Kirk stuff with their lack of etched tick marks as guides to show me exactly where the center of their bracket mount points are in relation to the exact center of the lens/sensor/clamp. I feel that this is important for setting up precise panoramas quickly.
Forty percent of my shots are with the camera tethered to a computer and/or an HD monitor, and quite often with the AC adapter plugged in - so I am very excited to be able to use cords when in portrait mode without having to resort to flopping the camera as I have done for too many years now.
When I don't use it with the door open in portrait orientation I can keep the vertical portion of the bracket snugged up close to the camera. The slot for the door also allows me to stow the door someplace where it doesn't move, get in the way, or lean against the cords. This door is larger than the one on the D300.
It is no big deal if you don't do much studio or location work that requires such use, or anything else that requires precision placement and no guess work.