I am amused that Drawnmix say octagonal maps are so easy and less than two hours later agrees it would be difficult to implement. Yet then implies it is just an overlay and implies it would be easy again! Also, calling him obtuse wasn't constructive at all.
No game can be all things to all people. They said TC won't be in, yet a handful cannot let it go.
To say the graphics look the same as GC2 is silly. There is much more detail and colors now. The older versions didn't have hexes. They may be able to do something about zig-zagging while moving, but for now there are bigger things on the plate.
The only major graphic update so far was on ships. Personally, until the combat viewer comes out, I don't care. I spend my time in the galactic map zoomed out, in the planet viewer, in the shipyard, etc. I don't know what their plans are for the map, planets, etc. They still look better when you zoom in than GalCiv2. There are only 8 months, so let's not panic over eye candy just yet.
So far all we have are the basics of planet building, research, war and economy. The next beta adds a lot of meat as does the one after.
Most 4x games have a similar look/feel through the various versions. Someone playing CIV V gets most of the game play automatically from playing all those past versions. They just have to learn about new features and design changes. Hex maps started a minor furball over there as well. Those that didn't like it, still lost. They aren't going to remap the game!
Right now, they are looking for bugs, suggestions and feedback on adjacency, ideology, balance, etc. They are not looking to rewrite core features or add new large ones.
At the end of the day, you have a major vote. Pay for the game and play it, or pass and buy something else. They SHOW you weekly in the dev journals what the game play is and where they are going. It isn't like they are hiding anything.