Some of you who read the Authenticate This! thread know that I took a chance on a white First last week. It's from Spring '04 so has the pewter hardwear and a longer shoulder strap. It had also been re-dyed to remedy an ink stain. Apparently two other people had originally bought this bag - the first just backed out, and the second one got it and returned it, saying it had been "painted" not dyed. So I was a little nervous to get it and see what I'd actually bought, but it arrived the other day and I love it! The leather is more papery than the original Bal leather would have been, but it does appear to be dyed rather than painted, and some leather moisturiser is softening it up nicely (although I don't expect it will ever be anywhere near as nice as it was originally). The leather has turned just a little bit creamy, which I like; I didn't want a super-stark bag. It's definitely authentic and I love the silver hardwear on the white. It's also perfectly broken in and slouchy, just the way I love my bags. Overall, a wonderful bag for $500!