The last wide margin rebind with Paul Sawyer was intended as a gift for someone and also as a way for me to try out Paul Sawyer's style of binding. While I liked the quality of the leather, the experimental aspects (colored page edges, etc) turned out unorthodox and eventually unsatisfying -- my own fault. The bigger problem was that I placed the Bible on the counter and unknown to me there was some spilled nail polish remover -- dont ask why! -- which went to work destroying the cover's color. Overall the rebind looked great and limpness seemed very good. Yet after playing around opening different sections of the Bible, I noticed a stiffness in the spine that does not want to go away. It keeps the Bible from opening up and laying flat in books like Genesis and Exodus...something that the Mechling rebind fixed right from the start.
This current ESV wide margin is rebound by Mechling Book Bindery (funded by those wonderful family members who give money as Christmas gifts). I consider it a good step up from the last rebind. Bound in tan goatskin with a brown leather lining, it was more flexible right out of the gate and over this past weekend has started to take on the same "yoga" abilities as my other rebinds from Mechling.
I used the deluxe rebinding package, also having them re-sew the spine and add the additional imprinting on the spine so it would mirror the look of an Allan's tan ESV. I also provided the ribbons, a blunder which my wife never lets me hear the end of, saying she did not marry "a ribbon boy." Which has spurred some of the women in the church to sarcastically let me know how nice the ribbon markers are in my Bibles.
In all, I love the job done on the rebind. The dimensions are very usable for a wide margin. Essentially Crossway took a Classic Reference edition, shrunk the font, and added over an inch of space on the outside which comes out to 6x9 and about 1.25" thick. But it still feels close to a reference edition.
In all I am VERY pleased with this rebind (just under $200) and at this point it is going to get all my study notes for 08'.
Thanks, Ribbon Boy -- er, Matt -- for the update! I'm hoping to rebind one of the upcoming Personal Reference ESVs, so this is good information to have.