I like the game a lot, it's been a while since I've really enjoyed a game like this. ID CAN still make good games, sure there are some technical issues, but they can be tweaked and for me it runs pretty well with default settings, using 2600k and gtx580.
The small towns I've encoutered this far seems good and alive, missions are good and the story is good enough for me. I don't know what peoeple expected, but the hype sure got the better of them.
The RPG elements works fine, and since I like straight up shooters more than heavy RPG games, it suits me perfectly.
The smeared graphics isn't a big issue, I expected the game to look a lot worse than what it does, and there will probably fixes for that later. I'm sure the engine can handle that...
It seems that ID is getting a lot of heat because this wasn't the messiah of games some people expected, but it stands tall along the rest of the good games on the market, so try the game out, it's worth the price. There will be mods, the multiplayer is fun and the singleplayer is good as well.
Oh, and the car racing&driving is fun, it's not a simulator, but once you get guns on the buggies it's a blast.