Yup, I’m a big convert to Anniversary. I own both games, and I’ve played more Spring '42 2nd Edition (1942.2) than I have Anniversary, but that will change over the next couple of years, because now I almost exclusively play Anniversary.
1942.2 is maybe one hour shorter than Anniversary on average, but the price you pay to save that hour is having to put up with ridiculous sea zone configurations (America typically needs three separate stacks of transports to be effective in Europe) and weird, crunchy flight paths that force you to send fighters from California on turn 1 through Australia and India so that they can reach West Russia in time to stop the German advance.
1942.2 does have some interestingly tight/sharp trading in eastern Europe; I like the territory divisions in Eastern Europe better in 1942.2 than in Anniversary. Instead of being rapidly forced back to Moscow, Russia has a real chance to stack in West Russia or Archangel through the middlegame, and the Germans can be defeated if they over-invest in the pricey 6 IPC tanks and then let those tanks be killed by efficient stacks of Russian infantry and fighters.
There are also interesting possibilities in 1942.2 if you adopt a “US goes first with a non-combat turn and extra purchase,” which tends to re-arrange the entire board and perhaps even allow for a small Axis bid.
That said, the well-designed eastern european front is not enough to save 1942.2 from its otherwise terrible starting setup. With no bid, the Allies will be pushed out of Egypt, China, Siberia, the central Pacific, and the north Atlantic sea zones no matter what they try to do about it. The British are wedded to their disaster of a factory in India, which deprives them of the income needed to make a real contribution in the Atlantic. Because Australia, China, Malaya, Burma, and Hawaii are all 1-IPC territories, the Allies have nowhere in the Pacific that makes sense a a place to build a factory as a forward base. Meanwhile, the Japanese have no reason at all to go south or east, and so in every game they either seize the British Indian factory and use it as a base to attack Stalingrad, or plow through China/Siberia and attack Moscow. There is no Battle of Midway or Battle of the Coral Sea or Battle of Guadalcanal; instead the Japanese get to do a bizarre repeat of the Pearl Harbor attacks, even though it’s supposed to be Spring 1942 instead of December 1941. There is no Battle of El Alamein or Battle of Kasserine Pass; instead the British get thrown out of Egypt and the American Atlantic fleet is sunk in its entirety by German subs before the Americans even get a turn, which means that when the Americans finally do make it to Morocco, they land with overwhelming force. The setup is rigid, unbalanced, ahistorical, and ultimately unrewarding.