I'll answer my own question that I posed before...
I am now able to answer, at least give my impression, about the volume control. Now that I have experienced it myself, I think it is well thought out and is an asset in a couple of ways. The redesign combined the separate Y and volume control into one unit now. It is 1 3/8"L x 3/8"W x 1/4"D and just the right weight for me. The VC is just weighty enough to give a solid feel but yet not weight you down much. The weigh is enough to keep the cable from bouncing around and helps with microphonics. The stems design also help stave off microphonics making the CX 985 one of the better straight down wearing style earphones in this area that I have experience with. Overall the 985 has a just right heft. Not a Monster Turbine Gold like heft that tugs or feels like it wants to come out but wonderfully solid yet still lets you forget about them more.
As I may have mentioned before, The VC is quite sturdy a works smoothly and flawlessly. A world of difference from the MX880's VC of which my pair had a channel imbalance, was plastic, and was much less one hand friendly.
The other use for the volume control is attenuation for source matching. I may just like a smidge less on the VC and a smidge more volume from the headphone out of my Sony S639. A bit more play to find the sweet spot unamped. Or even to reduce hiss when amped. Even skip the amp but still use the LOD(if you have the 3.5 socket instead of the cable) and gain a SQ boost from a superior line out with less bulk.
So, the volume control, for me, has been re-done the right way. Looks elegant, aids in reducing cord noise, and may just make them more versatile with their sound.