Yes, the 'beast' (as we called it at the end) is out. The idea for this whitepaper started in January with the preparation of a session Mike Fitzmaurice gave at the European SharePoint Conference in Berlin. M & M's input (Mike Fitzmaurice and Mike Ammerlaan) was invaluable for the paper and they constantly pointed out new paths to explore. That's why the beast ended up as a paper split into two parts.
We all understood that the content was going to be important for a lot of folks out there. Mike nicely formulates in a posting on the product team's blog a feeling that we all had during the process and what to expect:
"I'm not saying that everything just became easy (it hasn't), but I *am* saying that everything just became explicit. The paper has recommended practices, examples, etc. Although you still can't upgrade a list/feature/site definition over an old one, this paper will show you how to deprecate the old one and have the new one take over for any newly-created sites/features/lists."
Update of baggage status: Final day here in Sydney. Baggage was on the plane from London to Sydney yesterday. Hopefully I'll get it today since I am leaving tomorrow. Maybe I can just pick it up on my way home again J.