Randy, I wanted to get back to you and let you know that I was able to drill it out successfully and the anode went in just fine. It was a fairly substantial metal lip and was not a 20 or 30 second deal. So now you can advise the folks about this new design.
Should I open up the drain (already retro fitted with a ball valve) and attempt to flush out the metal shavings? This is a new tank and I could do it easily enough with my son’s help holding it at an angle if you think it would help at all.
About the origional anode. I still have the box you mailed the two replacement anodes in; if you’d like the anode I took out of the new unit, I’d be happy to send it to you (rather than toss it out). If you want to pay the postage, I’ll be happy to send it off to you. Let me know.