Thanks for you thoughts.
Yes, it boils down to what are your priorities. If one is swapping hard drives frequently, then a simple "slide out/in" design is better. My Dell Vostro is like that, and my Inspiron was like that too.
(That said, in my specific case
, I'd still go for the extra screws and a better overall accessibility of all components, than an easy to swap hard drive mechanism. We're only speakin about maybe 1 (2?) extra minute to remove 7 screws. However, in those models where plastic parts need to be popped out/in, plugs to be unplugged, etc. we're easily talking about an extra 25-30min when access to other parts like the CPU is needed, and then another 30 min to put back pieces together -- my Vostro or Inspiron take/took that long.)