Based on what you said about a "new rider" being someone who never road before period, how would you say a 15 year rider would appreciate it after riding a standard camber Burton balance from 7 years ago till present? I just bought the Proto 157 yesterday to replace the balance i've been on the past 7 years. So i have experience in riding but have never rode a rocker, reverse camber or any other hybrid.
All this depending on where you're riding..
I never rode the balance, but I did ride the Dragon. If my memory serves me correctly that board had a fairly deep sidecut, narrow waist and was pretty stiff (mktd as Terje's pipe/allmountain board). Depending on how much camber you've lost in the 7yrs of riding, you're definitely going to notice a degree of difference with RC. The difference won't be polarizing, meaning you aren't going to hate it, however you may not fall in love with it if your riding style exploits the responsiveness of camber. Like I said earlier, the ProtoCT does allow quick turn initiation, just need to take advantage of the board's flexibility to initiate your turn.
Long story tedious..
With your experience I think you'll appreciate the difference and won't feel limited. Now, conversely if you were going from RC to all camber and deep sidecut.. that'd be a WHOLE different story. In many ways that's why the ProtoCT is getting so much attention. It's the first RC board I've ridden that didn't leave me feeling like I sacrificed something by moving away from camber. Even the Heritage RC I rode last year had me yearning for camber some days. I'm going on record as saying next year's SL will incorporate design influences from the ProtoCT and we'll be the next "must have" board.
Then again, what do I know...