It seems that the Elves have been changed quite a bit.
As an example I have a picture of Merrill, an minor Dalish elf character from the first game who will be a companion in the second game.
And here is Merrill's new look in Dragon age II
So what do you think of the redesign? I rather like it. It gives the Elves their own look as appose to the first game where they just looks like shorter humans with pointy ears.