Having heard all the MBL's, except the Extreme, at shows over the years, I would say a significant amount, given the fact that the tweeter and midrange omni pods cover everything above 2K hertz or so.
The MBL essence, from my perspective, is an extremely open, transparent window into the music. The speakers really do disappear for the most part including off-axis listening. And the changes I've made over the last 14 months have helped substantially in that regard.
As with any hybrid, the challenge is to integrate traditional bass drivers and, in the case of the 116 and 111, mid bass drivers with the pods that employ a totally different technology and sophistication.
The 101 contains a mid bass sphere that further extends the benefits of the MBL pod technology but, as you may know, also requires a major (read expensive) step up in amplifier power. My Pass Labs drives the 116's to more than acceptable volume levels. Having said that, the going wisdom is that you need very powerful / SS high current mono amps in the range of 400 to 600 watts minimum to make the 101 perform up to its potential.
If one can afford the 101 and the requisite gear to optimize performance, I say go for it. If you are like most who don't have a C Note tree growing in the back yard, my sense is that you will be quite happy with the 116's performance.
A final note. Assuming one is not uber wealthy and you are interested in pursuing purchasing any MBL speaker, you can find some incredible deals on the used market. That's how I purchased mine. For example, there is currently a 101E MKII on audiogon for $36K. You should be able to pick up a 111 in the $17K +/- range (I've seen this model as low as $11K) and the 116 in the $10K area.
Hope that answers your question.