The ConceroHD/HP uses the mobile ES90182kM, just like the current prototype of the Pulse, and all reviews are very positive, maybe even rave!
I don't see it as a bad thing to keep using the same chip. It's all about how it is implemented. The ES9018 has been implemented in many DACs in many price points from $800 to $5000 and they don't sound the same because of their implementation. The new Pulse should sound better thanks to the use of bigger and higher performing parts that would allow LH to get the most out of it. And that's where the extra money over the Geek is going I believe.
I used to think that they should change to the desktop too, but the more I think about it, the more I tend to echo what others have said... I rather have the best a 90182KM DAC can be than a ES9018 gone wrong or with limitations that would prevent it from achieving its best performance.
NOW, If Larry Ho and the rest of the team manages to put the desktop es9018 in there and get better performance than they could ever get out of the ES90182KM given the design limitations... Bring it ON!!