Let's begin with a quote:
"What happened next was a sight no one present would ever forget. From the depths of the ice rose a creature unlike any they had seen before. His armor looked as though it had been forged from the sun, and his very presence radiated power."
--BIONICLE Adventures #9: Web of Shadows
2009 is not the first year in which that shade of yellow-orange which MOCists and other BIONICLE fans tend to call Keetorange was used to depict what might have been imagined in gold. The color's debut was in 2005, depicting a being who had not been seen within memory, but only described in legend. The film BIONICLE 3: Web of Shadows colored this being gold, but in the set Keetongu appeared in this color which bears his name.
In 2006, our modern-day shade of gold made its debut in the Brutaka set, and the set's shared piece with Keetongu-- a gold Hordika foot, which Keetongu had in Keetorange-- spawned a ridiculous number of MOCs using the two colors together. This was accelerated in 2006, when the color became standard for the ever-fluctuating "sixth color", that normally given to stone sets.
In these poorly-crafted MOCs the difference was obvious. Even Brutaka's yellowish-gold is a great deal duller than Keetorange. And herein lies my problem with the color. It's dull. While it may be shiny enough to be "special", gold does not exude power the way the vivid Keetorange does. If a chrome version of the color could be released, perhaps it would have a chance. Otherwise, the Keetorange retains its sun-god brilliance while the yellow-gold is if anything a mere alternative to silver for those sets in need of a metallic shade.
Also, remember that colors have been reinterpreted in BIONICLE media to sound or look more refined since the early years of BIONICLE. Most comics show Takanuva with a yellow-orange mask and armor color, rather than the brownish gold that appeared in the set. Hapka's novels were plagued with instances of metallic-sounding color names being applied to what in sets was solid-colored armor-- for instance, Pohatu was called bronze or copper at varying instances, while Kopaka was silver. Even in Greg Farshtey's more canon-compatible writing, color names are dramatized-- black becomes ebon; red becomes crimson, and green becomes emerald. My current desktop background, an Ignika, shows it in a yellow-orange that I would have loved to see the actual piece appear in.
In a recent correspondence with ToM Dracone, we discussed the titan-sized Toa Mata Nui set thoroughly, and a recent PM is largely what got me back to thinking about these colors. ToM pointed out that he attributes the Keetorange and yellow that are so prolific on both sets to the usual preference of young children for brighter colors, comparing the color to that on construction vehicles. I disagree on this point, although it is a very sensible interpretation. After all, wouldn't kids be just as giddy for metallic colors as for bright solid colors? It certainly would be my expectation, given the long success of metallic colors as a gimmick in BIONICLE and other LEGO themes.
So yes, I would very much have preferred if the titan-sized Toa Mata Nui set were without gold, and if the Ignika had been Keetorange. It would have been a boon to the color scheme, as well, and if LEGO expected gold to be such a selling factor they could easily have added an extra mask as they did in the Takanuva set of 2003. A bright, flashy emblem reading "Includes GOLD Ignika!" could be added to the box, featuring a heavily photoshopped version of the mask with radiant highlights and other eye-grabbing effects. After all, it has worked fine for the last two years for every "Special Edition" set released, even if their only gimmicks were "Special Edition-- New Color!" and "Includes 2 Figures!"
Alas, though. I've come to like my brother's Mata Nui set sitting on the shelf, and I find my enthusiasm for the new set diminished with the knowledge that its Ignika will be gold. Still, I hope to get it, as I very much like many aspects of its build and would love to put my imagination to work on a revamp to cure those aspects without such appeal.
P.S.: Yes, I can see now that I rambled. I didn't mean for this entry to get this long, but I like typing-- it's like having a conversation with myself. Perhaps that is just compensation for the conversation I'm missing out on from those who haven't the time to read this mess.