Mid December 2014:
I love the idea of a single chainring, but I lost my confidence in SRAM's quality control. As I was installing the chainring, one of the bolts broke off before reaching the torque requirement. The other 4 bolts were fine, which includes the heavier steel bolt that fit under the crank arm. The durability of the non-steel bolts is questionable. The photo shows the broken bolts, and also appear to be an abstraction of my facial expression at the moment of the brake. There are two bolts and a washer that join each chainring-hole. I probably just had bad luck and received a defective unit. I hope I will get an exchange, because I like the concept of a single chainring crank for a multi-speed drive-train. Please advise; I already tried calling SRAM.
Update January 2015:
First and foremost, special thanks to Competitive Cyclist for their superb customer service. They sent me a replacement crank, and it arrived in just one day from their shipping date. I completed the joining of the chainring to the crank, and put it through a few hundred miles so far. It performs flawlessly even without a chain catcher, but keep in mind that I am only using it on the road. I am sold on the single chainring system. I only need to adjust my gear ratio one cog at a time when climbing instead of readjusting my ratio after downshifting to the smaller chainring if I still had my old standard 2x crankset.
Needless to say, others on the club rides are intrigued by my 1x drive-train, and some have even mused that they may convert as well. One cyclo-cross friend is definitely sold on the idea. I will gladly refer them to competitiveCyclist, because they have the best prices on the SRAM CX grouppo. The excellent customer service and proximity to Las Vegas are a big plus as well, and as a result I changed my overall rating to 4 stars.