Yes, it's time to retire the trusty Blade as your main phone. You can still use it as an alarm clock or remote control. Newer phones are much smoother. Going back to the Blade on anything other than CM7 is a painfully slow experience!
In addition to the phones mentioned above, and if you want to stay loyal to ZTE, the Blade Q Mini is a good buy (unlockable and rootable). You can stick Xposed Framework and Gravitybox on there for tweakability. See here and here for more info. There are ROMs, but they're Chinese in origin and offer little improvement on the stock Android 4.1.
I upgraded to 31.03 from 07.03 (wipe cache/wipe Dalvik/format system) but I had frequent random reboots.
So I went back to 07.03 (wipe cache/wipe Dalvik/format system), but now some of my settings are messed up. The notification LED does random things like flashing or staying on permanently for no reason and my lock-screen seems to activate only whenever it feels like it!