how come so many responses to this board are like that?
It was not GM's first real step into FI, caddy used a similar setup from the mid 70's, and that basic setup (the single and 2 bbl TBI) with many interchangeable parts was used through the 90's on many of it's workhorse engines, because it was simple, reliable and efficient.
The actual crossfire setup was used for 3 years (82-84).
I've never actually seen documented distribution problems with them unless someone messed with it causing them. Heck, if they had distribution problems the engines would never have run right with old school iron heads and 9.8:1 compression (and they worked fine on 87 octane), distribution problems are the bane of detonation control.
The ports were specifically designed that way to create a "ski slope" type spot that the air rode over to make the port act like a smaller, high velocity port to enhance the low end/have better responsiveness without having to design heads specific to the application (this intake with slight modifications makes a KILLER setup for a 4x4).
The cease fire name came from the fact that many of these cars came with functional hood scoops and water got in through them and wet the HEI, coil in cap distributors causing starting problems (supposedly, I never had a problem with mine). I guess we should condemn everything that runs a GM HEI ignition?
It's like with a lot of other things, you need to understand it and work within that context with it. Would I recommend the setup for a fire breathing road race or drag car? No. OTOH, for a simple, reliable, fun and efficient street car, IN A SECOND, well before I would suggest the much more popular TPI (and I currently own 2 TPI cars and probably have 2 complete additional intakes in the basement that people gave me, OTOH, I saved all the Crossfire stuff off the crossfire car when that went away, and those are hard to come by and often people that are familiar with them don't want to let them go). It makes more torque, better responsiveness, MUCH better mpg and fewer parts to break/leak then a TPI with a similar top end limitation.