Well I sure hope it will be better than what I have been reading and seeing on the posted videos
There sure seem to be some very bizarre reported symptoms, such as AA not being able to be applied, frame rate limiting, poor performance, poor graphics and (from what I could see) AI that might not be that much better than the original version.
Then again, as you say, thus far I have not seen any comments from people who have powerful machines with top range graphics cards and are skilled, expert, sim racers who habitually use "hard core" sims such as iRacing, etc. To further make judgements difficult, there has not yet been one single video (apart from the Milner one at Laguna on the NFS Shift 2 website) from someone who is an expert at driving in a racing sim. That video has been the only one ever released that I have seen where the person doing the driving can actually drive with the sorts of skills I would expect from someone who would really be qualified to comment on the quality of the game as an actual simulation per se.
Anyway, apparently my copy is due to arrive in a couple of days (was despatched today but it has to travel halfway across the country) so at the very least I will be interested to guage the performance, see if the AA works and see what the FFB is like.
I seemed to remember similar negativity when the original Shift was released and soon after the negativity gave way to optimism as people appreciated the good points (though the bad points such as the hopeless and unfixable AI still killed it for me).
I might have cancelled my pre-order were it not for the fact that it is too late and it has been sent. then again, I am really having trouble believing the game could really be as bad as has been painted thus far.
Game companies are sneaky these days and release useable demos so late compared to the game release that most people who were probably going to buy it would not have resisted long enough to actually wait for the said demo! I know I am one of those people!