There is very little sensible comment I can make about the text of the content so far, so this is my opinion of the book as an object.
From a purely books as artefacts point of view Game Workshop continue to deliver incredibly lovely pieces of work. At 432 pages for your £45 I'm not sure at a shade of 10p a page it's worth that on it's own though, but I digress.
Here's a picture that's not yet been widely shown, that I'm aware. I present the rear of the book...
That's some very gribbly Chaos nastiness, that comes across, to be at least, as very traditional screaming faces and spikes bought forward to a more modern look. I like it. Hopefully it's an indication of the content we'll see in the boxed game.
To get a whine out in the open - vacuum wrap + ribbon in the middle of the book = a load of marked pages. This pisses me off. You may disagree, and think I'm being petty. In which case, you have no idea how wrong you are.
To get another out the way, Matt Ward in a waistcoat is not something I want in my rulebook.
There's a nice mix of artwork old and new, and the page background is lovely and subtle.
I can't say anything of the rules as yet, apart from that diagrams have been replaced with photographs, which is a nice touch, and the book didn't arrive with a pre packed FAQ card, so that can only be a good thing.
The background section seems to whip through the different races and factions very quickly, dispensing with the maps found in the previous edition, sadly. Talking of maps, going off my first flip thorough, there isn't a full galactic map until we hit page, 408/409, in the Appendices (which are an interesting collection of things (more shortly)), which seems a bit late in the book.There is am engrossed time-line that'll be interesting to read through fully.
The Miniatures Showcase offers nothing new to a hobby vet, but is a nice inclusion for anyone trying to get a feel for a race, and it's good that it remains separate from the background sections.
The Hobby section includes a good range of topics from collecting and painting to tournaments, conversions and a few very nice examples of armies. It's good to see a look at the larger experience of collecting.
The Battles section looks at some more scenarios with a tie into the history of the 41st millennium and has some fantastic terrain. "Scour The Starfort" is begging out for magnetic bases and metal terrain so you can move models outside the horizontal plane, and play around in 3D.
The Appendices, as mentioned earlier are an interesting bit of the book, collecting, both background material, References, (Note a viciously cut down Dark Angels section (5 entries), an entry for "Codex: Sister Of Battle", and full entry for Chaos Space Marines) for both armies and weaponry, and the Psychic Disciplines (in much the same way the Magic section of the Fantasy rulebook was placed at the back of the book). This is finished off with a six page game summary (which is a big improvement over boiling everything down to two sides, and an index.
As an object I'm impressed with the book, but that counts for little if the content isn't up to scratch. I'll let you know soon.