I recently purchased the new Pro 116 from Vortex. I have been using the ES-116 for the last year and a half. The Vortex has really boosted my ability to compete with younger players. I have moved from a 3.0 to somewhere between a 3.5 and 4.0. I am sure the racket is not the only factor, but it has helped a lot.
Comparing the 2 rackets I find I like the feel of the Pro version better than the ES. It is just a bit more solid feeling. They play close enough so I can switch back and forth though. I just find myself spending more play time with the Pro.
I have been experimenting with strings too. I have really taken to BHBR. I tried the silver version in the Pro because it looks better in a racket that is black, silver, and green. I like the feel of the blue better though.