Definitely agree about the approach of sorting things out with gradual refactoring and tests as the need arises. The problem with the "Big Bang" approach is that you have the potential for a very long stretch of time where there are two forks of the code: ugly shipping code that will need to be fixed and refactored as bugs are reported, and pretty nonfunctioning code that will need to incorporate those fixes as they are uncovered, resulting in a perpetual loop of "it's not quite ready yet."
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