I have also started using less crystal malt, and have been boiling the first gallon of run-off to half a gallon. I feel this has been improve the malt profile significantly.
You don't feel like they give you different results?
Ha, I posted that, and thought I should have elaborated, or at the very least rewritten it into two sentences.
Oh, I am looking for different things from both of them. Using less crystal/specialty malt has meant that I spend more time justifying the presence of each ingredient. This I believe has given me a better malt profile, as it doesn't taste so muddied, and it is also giving me a better idea of what each malt is bringing. Boiling the first gallon down gives me a darker color (which is something that I personally like), and also helps get a boil quicker on my fairly weak stovetop. Otherwise, I suppose I should do two batches and gauge how it affects my tastebuds, as I recall a thread where this topic was being discussed, and the results seemed dependent on the individual's taste. Perhaps in the near future: same recipe, one where I don't boil down the runnings, and the other where I do.