Hi Charlie, I've been pondering about how to best answer, but I am afraid I cannot say that I like either version too much. Neither design grasps my attention, neither design inspires. I understand that while you care about the quality of the operation and content a lot more than the look of the site, but from a customer perspective, I want to see a gorgeous and clean storefront as well - for that first impression to last.
Structurally, the body layout is much better with the new version in my view. However, the header with the logo needs complete change. I think the site can look fantastic, but you need to bring in someone who can develop a design that will immediately stand out. Something trendy, subtle, information rich and structurally solid.
I came across a lot of talented designers at www.talkfreelance.com
. I can suggest you a few people if you are up for it.