They were only conceptually reinvented for the new show; the basic shape the same, with the details of it adjusted to give it a more hefty look. A sturdy metal, all bolted and riveted. The first dalek story of the new show took a single dalek, busted and broken, and showed how it could soak up "background radiation" picked up from a time traveler to heal and repair it's metal and organic components on a molecular level, making itself good as new. It used it's plunger to suck a man's head to a withered stump, then used the same plunger to work out a security door code with a very high number digit. It accessed the internet to figure out it's place in space-time, drained a couple of cities in Utah of power, IIRC. Then it killed a rich guy's formidible personal army, all armed with pretty decent military grade weaponry. One Dalek, not a scratch.
The thing is, the writer of the Dalek stories tended to have an Achilles heal of some kind or another. What can you do?
They were recently re-designed, for the arrival of the Eleventh Doctor, but visually it's a serious step backwards for a lot of fans; they're all colorful, and seem less weighty; plastic looking rather than metal. Some fans called them Dalek Power Rangers or Dalek teletubbies. Awful, IMO.
The closest thing to a menacing sort-of-reconceptualization of the Daleks is the Toclafane. When the new series was being developed, they weren't sure if they would be able to use the Daleks, so the Toclafane were made up. These are machine-creatures in the form of a hovering metal sphere about the size of a basketball, bristling with a whirlwind of knives, needles, probes and other nasty slice'n'dice gear. They move fast and work people over like a serial-killer. They eventually got to use the Daleks, but they still brought the Toclafane in as well. Their name is recognized as a mythical creature that the Lords of Time were afraid of.
The Daleks scared me as a kid because of the voices (the Cylon voices from the original BSG were similarly terrifying). There were menacing in my imagination when I read the novelizations of the stories. In actuality, well, they're fun still fun to see, for nostalgia reasons. I used to be crazy about them and the Cybermen, but there have been a lot of other interesting monsters and aliens. The Weeping Angels are interesting critters, the Silurian/Sea Devils/Earth Reptiles are a race that Star Trek would be proud of, the Krynoid will make you think twice about being a vegetarian. Faction Paradox is not widely known, but still a great concept, from the dark side of Time Lord cultural background. I'd be much more enthusiastic to see the return of, say, the Fendahl, over the Daleks.
As for the average fan, I think it varies a lot. Some fans respect that the Daleks helped kickstart DW in the 60's so that it was able to go the distance. Some DW fans are gushing, unreserved Dalek fans. Some are indifferent, and some wish the showrunners never felt compelled to use the Daleks ever again.
In the 60's, the Daleks played to a lot of fears, beyond their appearance. They carried the menace of radiation fall-out and apocalyptic nuclear warfare. The also played to a fear that was still in living memory, post-WWII: the very real danger that Great Britain would find itself occupied by Nazi troops, dedicated to racial cleansing, and general violent abuse. The Daleks are Nazis; with their stupid plunger perpetually locked in a "Heil!" salute, hating everyone who is not them, and wanting to tyrannize any civilization with military occupation.
I have my own ideas about re-conceptualizing the Daleks to be more interesting, maybe not menacing per se. There is a cross section of DW fans who pride themselves on being progressive and open minded. With the exception of the Daleks, some would say that the show has been re-conceptualized in that way, with the exception of the Daleks (it beat the new Star Trek movie by a couple of years). It's the same, but different. Strong emphasis on character development, for the Doctor and his friends, that's a major difference. They play with the narrative structure very well, too; standalone episodes or two-parters, but seasons have a background story build-up.
I meant to make a small post. I realize that I have gone overboard. I am aware of this.
I must not obsess. I must not obsess. Paeter...what have you done to me!? Too weak...to resist...