I have an older (SS) performer and one of the reasons I got it was for the propane ignition. Being the lazy bastage I am, it's just so much easier than finding some paper, tearing up a charcoal bag or doing whatever I need to do to find something to ignite a charcoal chimney.
And think the newer design allows better access to propane and storage bin. This point was driven home yesterday when my grill was covered with 1/4" of ice and I had to tear up an old charcoal bag to start my smoke. And my mesquite was not available since it was in the storage bin.