Eric, I really dislike the binding to be honest. I go as far to say that its rubbish and the new Speedlock bindings on the Axis (which is like the Lightning Ascent with different binding) would be my way to go. Anyway, sounds like you had a great time outside on your trip! Roaring back at the mountain lion, now that's the way to go!
Ryan, five years and still going strong, that's awesome quality. As i said above, I think two straps would be sufficient and way more convenient, I'm always closing the front strap again after a while because it opens and dangles around. If yours are still fine, I'd just continue with them, really. Yes, the new models are nice (All black ftw!) and have good features, but if you're good with yours, why invest into new ones? The Flash, while lightweight at ~1400 g don't have the heel lifter, and I find that little thing a blessing. So useful, really. Maybe loan a pair once they're available and then decide?
I did a video review of my 2009 Lightning Ascents , so for those who're in the market go and have a look.