You know, Dan, how is this any different from CES? Most products when they are debuted, simply are in some form of alpha state, and not ready for the public, or the press to truly go hands-on with to any depth. I remember when all the Honeycomb tablets were debuting at CES 2011, we were not allowed to mess with those at all - especially the Moto Zoom. I would think by now tech bloggers would just know that, and roll with that. Instead everyone treats the Surface debut as a launch, and fall into two camps: either overly optimistic about something they only got to play with for two minutes; or overly pessimistic about something no one got to play with for more than two minutes.
There will be plenty of time between now and October, to truly go hands-on with Surface. Until then, whatever.