For some reason my paint have started to fade only above the EFX enable/disable switch. But I agree, this shouldn't happen, so an anodized faceplate would be awesome.
I don't dislike the idea of having a built in soundcard in a mixer like this, but I think it will make the price sky rocketing far beyond what most people would buy a mixer like this for. I mean, just see the Rane 68, that's an pretty expensive unit.
With some tweaking I think you can make your own crossfader as long as you figure out what pin does what. I actually think it's listed in the manual, and I'm pretty sure one guy in here made his own 1U unit? Makes me wonder if you could actually make your own VU/dB meter as well that works the same way as the original does in he XP unit.
I totally agree on the EFX part. I'm not a heavy user of EFX, but I think that per channel send/return is a must when using effects like echo in the mix. This is actually my biggest issue with this mixer, I simply don't see why they haven't made it that way! Again, maybe it's possible to mod a unit for this and put between the ribbon cable that connects the two units? I've seen a mod online by Hassy, so it's definitely possible... However, don't remember if he did an internal mod or made a standalone unit like the Bozak EQ-6 .