Pros: Flawless workmanship, rich Martin tone, versatile and easy to play. An outstanding value.
Cons: String spacing might not match preferences for dedicated fingerstyle players; doesn't have the "vintage" vibe.
The D-35 is a standard series Martin as compared the vintage series. The top bracing (1/4") is lighter than the standard D-28 (5/16"). The tuners are enclosed with large knobs, and the Martin logo on the headstock is foil. The newer D-35 models come with a bone nut and saddle rather than corian and micarta as before. The neck is low profile, with spacing at 1 11/16" at the nut and 2 1/8" at the bridge which means that it's not as beefy and is thinner than the older "baseball bat" type necks, and the modified V that is found on many new vintage series Martins.
The workmanship, fit and finish are flawless. Other changes on the new D-35 are striped ebony rather than a plain black ebony bridge and fretboard, which in my opinion enhances the visual appearance. The neck is Spanish Cedar that Martin is now using on many standard series guitars rather than the mahogany that has been used in the past. While this is raised as an issue in some circles, I like the appearance and feel of this material every bit as well.
The D-35 came set up perfectly with the action set a bit lower than what I've seen on other new Martins, which for me is absolutely perfect and very easy to play.
While the D-35 has a reputation for having a "boomy" type sound, that is not the case with this guitar. It delivers the classic sound that one might expect from a Martin drednaught. Robust and full, yet warm and satisfying. Unlike some opinions that I've read before, the bass does not overwhelm the trebles, which are very alive and full of sparkle. The D-35 is more responsive than a standard D-28, which is of course a great instrument in it's own right. The greater responsiveness makes this guitar extremely versatile, and appropriate for both fingerstyle and flatpicking. For strumming, this guitar can absolutely roar with no breakup at full volume. Perhaps the versatility of this guitar is attributable to the lighter bracing.
I have owned and played many different Martins, including Golden Era models against which this D-35 more than holds its own. In my opinion, the D-35 is an excellent value and merits serious consideration by anyone who is considering a new Martin drednaught guitar.