Uncanny X-Men #281 is the first "core" post-Claremont book we're looking at. In X-Force and X-Factor we have seen very different takes on what you can do in an X-book - grim mercenary fantasies and powered detectivey stuff. This is the first time we see what someone else (in this case Whilce Portacio scripted by John Byrne and Jim Lee, apparently, although who knows what relation that bears to who did what) will do in Claremont's sandbox.
And it definitely his sandbox: rather than introduce anything new, it's business as usual, as we get the Hellfire Club, Sentinels, Emma Frost and the Hellions, the Reavers and Senator Kelly. It's practically a roll-call, and as such very reassuring - the X-Men are back as they were in the early 1980s, complete with mutants conspiring to build and set giant robots on other mutants for no clearly defined reason.
The element that wasn't present there, of course, is Jean Grey, what with her dying in 1980, before Emma was anything more than a cardboard cutout. That Jean/Emma dynamic starts to come alive here, for a moment. Until Jean Grey gets killed off in the last few pages. Well, that didn't last long, did it? Ironic that Claremont wanted to keep her dead and then the moment he leaves the book, they kill her off again.
Special shout-out to the names of some of the Hellions to die in this issue. "Beef" and "Bevatron". You don't get names like those any more. Thank god. These characters were both introduced over in New Warriors, which apparently exists now but I'm not going to cover...