Yeah Blast Weapons are great. I can say from experience its another reason the game is a lot faster. The games in my experience is built around mech MSU and its a much faster and tactically tight game. Most of 8th I played against just mobs and mobs of infantry, primarily because vechiles were just not reliable. Not so anymore.
That being said I'm still playing with a good deal of 9 man units, whether it be scatter laser Windriders (who can move and shoot freely) at 9 strong, or my Shining Spears at 9 strong.
The way I made this work is keeping them in reserves, taking out the blast weapons (or as many as I can) in the turns before they drop. This becomes a fun game within a game, and makes for some very tense moments as you really want those units coming in as soon as possible.
I failed to mention this previously but I thought it was worth noting, that in regards to Reserves, close-quarters specialists that have previously been to work intensive, as opposed to their long range counterparts are really very good now. Units like Fire Dragons, Wraithguard, combi-melta Sternguard which I think will be really popular, guarding the flanks for vehicles coming in out of reserves. The reason being, is they aren't shielded behind multiple layers of infantry. Parking those units in a handy transport like a Wave Serpent, Falcon or even a Razorback is really useful. Since vehicles can take full advantage of their movement and still maintain their accuracy, you can still get good firing angles, while protecting your flanks against in coming reserves. If you've got infantry popping up the flanks to you can obviously have close-combat units in there too. The main point being you dont need to bypass your opponents multi-layered front-lines to get cloee-quarters specialists into the fray now. Its really a lot of fun