I agree that American Woodworker was once (back in the Ellis days) a great magazine. Unfortunately, the current product is not that and I think it is fair to say they are the same in name only.
I feel certain that the current owners will continue to milk what they bought by releasing these compendium issues without any new content and just keep labeling them "Best of", sort of like all the magazines abuse the word, "Ultimate", to entice buyers. I see no signs that the current incarnation of American Woodworker has the ability to produce a quality magazine on the level of Woodwork. Truth is, that magazine was so good that they could cherry pick articles for the next ten years to release "Best of" special issues and those unfamiliar with the magazine would fail to realize that every issue was of that quality.
Anyway, the articles are good. The single page where Michelle Holzapfel talks about how she creates her textures on her pieces is worth the price.