Core Knowledge - this was a piece of cake this time. I still think it's a crapshoot. I just happened to get four pretty easy questions this time. The four questions were broke down like they were before - 3 pretty simple questions, and 1 out there question. I was well prepared for this section.
Troubleshooting - this should have been easy. My time management killed me. First task totally threw me for a loop and I spent about 30 minutes troubleshooting to no avail. I tried to stick to the 10 minute limit per task, but I finally decided to move on. Uh-oh. I can't do task two until task one was fixed. This bucks the assumption that each task is independent. They can, and will, produce an IGP issue that will be necessary to fix a later task. I never did fix that first task and spent way too much time on it. The remaining tasks were really easy but I did not have time to complete them all. This tells me that I need to spend more time troubleshooting and really work on my time management in that section. As others have mentioned, you can expect to see 10 - 12 tasks in this section.
Configuration - not totally different than version three, but you need to know the blueprint inside and out. Surprisingly, there is still troubleshooting in the configuration section. My lab covered some interesting topics. My multicasting section was totally based on IPv6. I took a shot and got 50% of the points. Not too bad, but it should have been a pretty easy 100% had I spent any time labbing multicast for IPv6. They also touched on other things that I haven't labbed like EEM, Netflow, and surprisingly, autoqos? If I had more time to prepare, I could have done much better on this section.
Miscellaneous - the format is different. There is no SecureCRT, and no lab book. After the OEQ, you log out and log back in. From here, you log in to a webpage and start your troubleshooting section (which has a countdown timer). Once that completes, you click 'Start Lab' to begin the configuration section. You have one 24" monitor. For the OEQ, and even the troubleshooting this was not a big deal and I did not have any problems. For the configuration portion, you could definitely benefit from a second monitor. When you are trying to flip back and forth between 9 terminal sessions, several diagrams, and lab instructions - things can get lost pretty quick. I doubt they will add a second monitor any time soon, but just be prepared. One cool thing is the ability to click on the devices on the main lab diagram and have that session opened up for you.
Proctor - Howard Pearse was not the proctor this week. There was another gentleman who I don't believe ever announced his name? Howard was generally friendly, and helpful, while still operating within the confines of a CCIE proctor. This gentleman was generally distant and unfriendly. At one point, my lab instructions disappeared. I couldn't bring up the tasks, the diagrams and subsequently any additional console sessions to my devices. This was not an issue with the lab hardware, but an issue with the lab delivery. At first he said "I don't know what to tell you". Excuse me, but what the f*$k do you mean you don't know what to tell me? This is the equivalent of someone stealing my damn lab book in version 3.0. Several people also had this problem. It took three of us to say something before it was fixed. Once he looked into it, it was promptly fixed. I am not blaming my failing in anyway on the proctor but he always seemed bothered. Had this been fixed when the first person said something, things would have been much smoother.
In closing, I did about as well as I thought I would do. Given more time, I feel confident I would have passed. I am still going to guarantee that I get my CCIE in 2010. This damn journey will be the death of me if I don't. I am going to take some time off for the holidays and get back at this in January. I plan to take a few weeks to get my VCP, and then mix-in some June-OS studying with my CCIE. As far as study materials, I need a troubleshooting workbook. I also need a more complete workbook. I love Narbik's materials but he needs to add a lot of topics to his latest workbook. Items such as OER, EEM, and IPv6 multicast are some pretty glaring holes missing for the 2.0 workbook. I also need to spend some time on mock labs before my next attempt. INE's has finally started to update the dynamips workbook so I am covered there.
Well, it's been an exhausting 24 hours. Thanks to everyone for your support.