For what its worth, I've been playing it for about 6 weeks now, and I really love WITE. I'm not saying its the perfect game, but it is a big improvement on TOAW in my opinion. Its weaknesses are that it doesnt have production, and of course that the map is hardwired so you can only play the eastern front. It does have a huge following and the makings of a very dedicated community, a reasonably slick interface, and pretty good command and control routines. Best game I've played for quite a while.
As for whether its worth $80, I think that all depends on perspective. If I compare it with games in other genres that I've bought for $80 - first person shooters, role playing games, etc, then its worth double that.