In almost all cases firmware upgrades don't "Offer" anything. It patches issues the modem might have with certain pieces of equipment and may address security concerns.
Being a combo router/modem, it's a more complicated device, so the significance of firmware updates to it increases.
In addition to streamlined bridged mode, I can see this update also enables you to selectively disable the various NAT ALGs (protocol snooping) ... even FTP! I'm hoping they've either fixed the performance bugs I had with the last version, or that by disabling everything I don't need, I won't run into them. I'll know in a few days!--
AT&T U-Hearse - RIP Unlimited Internet 1995-2011