I agree that they are super nice for a lot of stamps. I have some colors that I've decided that I HAVE to switch over to the new style for and the rest I'll keep using the pads I have and slowly switch out over time.
RAWS, the firm foam are a new style that is really all about the pad itself changing out to a more spongey texture which helps give a more saturated color when you stamp and smoother image (instead of some texture transfering when you stamp a solid image). Plus with the extra saturation of ink, you can actually do some heat embossing or stamping on cotton ribbon more easily than before... or at least that has been my experience.
If you are curious to see a comparison of the old style and the new, I have a video as well that I show stamping with the old pads vs stamping with the new pads - About Stampin' Up! Firm Foam Ink Pads - YouTube