When you do a comparison of the features between this new model and the 1617 series you will find the only significant feature difference is the LED lights around the collet. As far as the switch being mounted on the handles instead of the top of the motor consider that on the 1617 series you can remove the fixed base handles for more clearance under the table; this is my preference.
The handle mounted switch is a feature that Rick Rosendahl prefers, his explanation is simple: "With the switch on the handle you can power up with both hands holding the router... convenience and safety in one feature."
"Living in the D" (this means Detroit!)
"It's fine to disagree with other members as long as you respect their opinions"