Some of the NXT marketing material
A new photo from Flickr here ... shows some of the marketing material used (I'm guessing) when demo'ing the NXT. Or it might be a notebook or folder... hard to tell.
Notice the green eyes on AlphaRex... must be the "new and improved" Ultrasonic sensor.
I do like the US sensor... we agree there. And yes, the cables are thick, but I think if they weren't they might be more likely to fail internally (broken wire).
I don't consider myself a "natural builder" - I've used both kits (RIS and NXT) and I have to say I was able to more quickly get a stable build from NXT than RIS... I disagree with you on that point. I think building with the NXT is actually easier. I like the Technic beams and connectors and I find it's nice not to have to just pile on tons of bricks to strengthen and reinforce my bots.
Thanks for your comments. It'll be interesting to see how others react to the NXT when they start building.