Hey, I'm a 2nd yr engineer who turned down 2nd yr entry and don't regret it in the slightest. I think 2nd yr entry would have been a massive mistake for several reasons:
1) I did cover a lot of the same material in 1st year as I did in A levels, but there were things I hadn't done before and if I'd gone straight into second year I would have been very close to failing.
2) The only way to avoid failing would have been to work my arse off, and thus not having time to make any friends.
3) In 1st year you tend to make friends with people in your halls because these are the first people you meet and its convenient to go out with the people you live near; I knew hardly any other engineers in first year. Now, in second year, when everyone is split up all over the city I've become better friends with other engineers as this is who I spend time with in labs etc... and there a lovely bunch!
4) Someone mentioned it being hard making friends with people on your course with 2nd yr entry because 'I just assumed they were jealous/made their friends already'. Firstly its not because they are jealous, most of them probably could have done 2nd yr entry but chose not to and uni really isn't that competitive. Its simply because people already have got friends, they can't be bothered with the whole 'whats ur name? where u from?' anymore. Despite not hanging around with other engineers in 1st yr I did know everyone just not very well. Being the only new face will be very difficult.
I think my main point is this:
If you choose to go to Scotland you choose the Scottish system. If you don't like it go to England or Wales. Don't try to take shortcuts with things like 2nd yr entry. Academically it may make sense, but uni is about so much more.
PS I know if your scottish then financially it might not make sense to go to England or Wales, then it might be worth considering 2nd yr entry but only if you already have friends in the city.