Played this at Spiel and despite the unusual theme, it really stuck with me. I didn't have the budget to pick it up right there and then, but it's high on my list of purchases when I feel that itch for a new game. And I don't yet have a good strategic economy game in my collection either.
I'm of two minds about the original Funkenschlag. I love the market mechanism, but don't care for the number-crunching and calculating towards the end of the game. I've been told that Die ersten Funken retains the bits I like about Funkenschlag and gets rid of the bits I don't. So this is high on my "want to play"-list now.