Funny because it is/was the same thing on the GSX-R forums, the Corvette forums, the S-10 forums, the Camaro forums and the Mustang forums.
This is an interesting phenomenon with vehicles that people really love. Same thing happened on the Z forums.
On the performance side of things, I'll admit I do wish they had gone a bit further (e.g. slipper clutch, upgraded master cylinder), but at the same time the 600rr is still a hell of a bike for the price. This weekend I actually heard a story about a guy (some amateur racer or something) that jumped on a bone stock 600rr, street tires and everything, and ran within 10-12 seconds of the lap record at some track around here. There are not many people out there who can use this bike to it's full potential. I certainly can't.
The other thing is, it's clear Honda has a slightly different strategy for it's mass-market sportbikes over the past few years. Let's remember, they ARE trying to run a business here. But their strategy is no secret: they are trying to sell the "most balanced" sportbike out there. Kawasaki has gone a different direction - big hp, nice gadgetry, slipper clutch. The difference is, Honda is targeting street riders and giving them what they actually NEED on the street (smooth mid-range torque, ABS, and now hopefully better feel through the forks), whether they know it or not. The result of this is a slightly more mature/reasonable crowd compared to some of the "squiddier" bikes (it's not the bikes that are squiddly, mind you, just a slightly different balance of riders). These are obviously generalizations, but I think there is some statistical truth there too, not to mention noticeable differences between forums.
On the other hand, the street riders targeted by Kawi are the ones who THINK they need all the track goodies to go faster than their buddies around town and will probably never do a track day in their lives. And it looks like Kawi has set themselves up nicely for this corner of the supersport market. And of course, they are also set up nicely for the track-junkie corner of the market, but how many track junkies are out there buying brand new 600s?
Honda seems to have been working on a nice little niche for its supersports--track-ready but streetable--and they are hoping to ride that reputation with this new model (and the 2012 1000rr for that matter). Just go take a look at the website and read their little marketing blurb.
So, all of this puts the aesthetics into perspective. Call me crazy, but the new look fits the reputation quite well. The front end is clean, less aggressive, less angular, might even say sophisticated. The undertail exhaust is still attractive and is now somewhat unique and becoming more of a "classic" 600rr feature. I'd still like a black swingarm but they'll probably pull out that little trick next year.
I can see this bike becoming a real sweetheart over the next few years, and the next redesign will have people vowing never to relinquish their beloved 2013s. Just wait!