I actually use my membership features quite a bit, especially HD and downloading. 50 bucks isn't much considering the amount of entertainment I've gotten out of this website (I spent like 50 bucks every 2 weeks on cigarettes alone before I quit) and I like to support creators of great content.
It's an impressive language parsing feat, but, like most Computer Science AI stuff, it probably wouldn't be so impressive if you knew how it worked. AI is like a magic trick in that way; its about making it seem like real intelligence.
People can't out run cars, wrestle a bulldozer or dig faster than a steam shovel -- but there's nothing meaningful or philosophical about that. That's how I feel about AI.
If your talking about the SMB 2 released in the US, I loved it, especially when I was younger. The world seemed more exotic and I liked the gameplay more. I only played the SNES All-Stars version, and I was fairly young.
Wow, this is a really entertaining, logical, well thought out blog entry. But maybe I just think that because I agree with just about everything you wrote.
I think popularity in certain circles can have a lot to do with quality. For example, if a game is popular on GiantBomb (e.g. Recettear), I have lot more faith in that then if a game is just popular with the general public.