What I do care about is chamber support (SL on the left, factory on the right)....
... and rifling.
I even went so far as to mic the chambers to see the difference.
0.006" - quite a difference!
My other observation was that since the feed ramp wasn't cut into the chamber as deeply as the factory barrel, it had feeding issues with all manner of cartidges. None that I had would feed successfully; all would end up with a "three-point" jam, with the bullet nose on the top inside of the chamber, case wall on the feed ramp-to-chamber edge, and case rim against the breech face. A simple slap on the magazine would chamber the round, but this was unacceptable IMHO. I noticed that after chambering, the brass would have a fairly sharp "cut" dug into the side of it from where it was hitting the feed ramp-to-chamber edge, which said to me this edge was too sharp and digging into the case wall causing the hangup.
I put a felt wheel on the dremel, applied a bit of jeweler's rouge, and polished this edge until the surface treatment began to get thin. Took about five minutes, and now it feeds much better (almost 100% hand cycling) without causing any measurable loss in case support. Basically just slightly rounded over the sharp transition edge.
I have yet to shoot it, but plan to by this weekend. I will update with range info when I do.
Until then, my initial impressions are as follows:
-Excellent case support
-tight chamber will extend brass life
-conventional rifling for shooting cast lead bullets
-rifling appears very crisp
-Mediocre black oxide finish
-Not 100% reliable out of the box, therfore not "drop-in" as advertised. If I wanted to hand fit the barrel, I would have bought a KKM.
-Cosmetics overall leave quite a bit lacking considering the $160 price tag.
-Shipping cost was outrageous. "Freight" was $17.00 for a box that tiny and light, PLUS it took forever to ship. Even though UPS had the shipping info on Dec 23rd, they didn't pick it up for 5 business days, and the package didn't arrive until 1/4/12. For that kind of money, it could have been sent 2 day Fedex instead of sitting at a UPS depot for 5 days not moving.
My impression overall so far is that it's going to be a fine barrel for what I want to do with it, but I don't know if I'd order another from Storm Lake. I was not "blown away" by the product at all. I think for my .40 conversion barrel I'll try a blind-marked LW barrel, and for the 6" hunting barrel I'll probably give KKM a try.