In order to accommodate my new Axiom system (M60ti's, VP150, EP350, 3 QS8's for 6.1) I needed to "re-arrange" the front end of the room which meant changing where I placed my equipment. Given the great price on the AS5, I decided to get one and see how it worked out.
Overall, this is a great value in my mind, given how much you can spend on racks. As other have mentioned I was curious about how the black/brushed aluminum motif would go with my decor (lots of wood - Oak, got the Cherry speakers, etc.) and was impressed with the way it blended in. Almost all of my equipment is black except for one piece, but the black equipment has some silver/aluminum pieces - feet, buttons, etc. Matches really well and when my wife came home she immediately mentioned how good it looked. I explained WAF to her and she laughed and said this one gets a "high WAF". She also mentioned the speakers get a high WAF so I'm golden! :-)
A tip on assembly. The AS5 is a stacked set of shelves supported by a thick aluminum post on the back, and two thinner posts in the front, held together by threaded rod screwed into the feet at the bottom, and a cap on the top. I benefited from reading a previous post on how if you screw the feet in all the way, the rod is too short to get the cap threaded on and this is true. Just get a couple or 3 threads on the feet if you start from the bottom and it makes getting the caps on the top started very easy.
In general, my additional tips are:
1. Use one of the feet (they are more substantial than the top caps) to make sure all the threads on the rods will start threading. When cutting the threaded rod, it wasn't obvious to me that the threads were always cleaned up (I had one that was like this). This will also remove any paint that may have gotten into the threads.
2. Consider assembling the rack upside down starting with the threading of the top caps first and put the feet on last since they are easier to get started. The natural tendency is to assemble it starting from the bottom up, but it makes no difference. I didn't do this, but in hindsight if I have to take it apart and reassemble it, this is the way I would go.
It takes about 15 - 20 minutes to assemble. In finished form, it is very sturdy (I have over 100 lbs of gear in it).
So, I believe it is great value for the money - especially at 1/2 price like it is now - looks very nice, and goes together easily. And, if WAF is important, it worked for me.