I have an R1 FT-5 which I purchased around Black Friday in 2016, so it's around a year old as well.
My kit came with a damaged white heater bed, and they were transitioning to the newer black bed, which they replaced my damaged one with. For the last year, I've been pretty happy with the black bed. I believe you can still purchase them form FT. I would recommend it at the very least, what I would recommend more is a Silicone heat bed:
I just got done installing a 120V(USA) silicone bed heater with DC-AC SSR.
It was pretty easy to install and like Paul said, it takes away much of the stress on the motherboard connectors.
I print on mirror tile, which if you're in the USA can be obtained at big box home improvement stores. I've had good luck printing on PEI sheet adhered to the glass with 3M adhesive tape.
Really, the biggest thing I've learned is it's just one big experiment. Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty.
The machine is very capable. Just this past week I printed the Maker's Muse Tolerance Test.
Mechanically, some things I did right away were to not install the top KFL08 flange bearings on the z rod. The z rod does not need extra guidance. The brass nut on the bed is guided by the 4 linear posts. The top KFL08 just adds to over constrain the system and can cause binding issues and layer shifts.
Also, along the lines of the bottom KFL08 bearings. The KFL08 are supposed to be an alignment aid, meaning they should pivot in the flange. However, ALL of mine, and many others were frozen. You can fairly easily pivot the ball bearing out of the flange and use an xacto blade or similar to clean up the outer edges. Be careful to check the fit frequently. You can go too far and introduce some play in the bearing.
Many people have issues with the bed falling down on one side or the other while it's parked. I've never had that issue, but I did install anti backlash nuts on my z rod. I believe they have helped in this regard, but are likely unnecessary for aiding in z accuracy, as the bed is inherently forced down taking any backlash out.
I found a big improvement over the included extruder/hotend after I installed a genuine E3D titan/V6 combo. I thought I had the sock configuration dialed in, but wow, there was much to be gained.
I was able to free up the 0.1 mm tolerance with a little persuasion. Nothing severe that compromised the integrity of the part at all. The only one I couldn't free up was the 0.05mm tolerance. I used Makergeeks PETG.
I was very impressed!
Sorry, got a little rambly there...