I kept having this discussion in separate places, so I thought that I'd make it a post.
I fail to see what isn't to love about the new phone. Aside from the price, screen and case being the same, the battery life is increased, and processor, graphics, and storage are all doubled. Twice as much as the iPhone4.
Nobody has been able to give me a reason not to love the iPhone4S except that the number is "wrong" or that people can't immediately tell how cool you are so you'll have to answer "not an iPhone4; a 4S."
I'm really beginning to feel sorry for Apple, because apparently iPhone5 is going to be wide panned unless it has a built-in jetpack, transmits via Ansible, and is powered by Cold-Fusion.
If you're still unimpressed, look at your car. This years model is not twice as fast *and* more energy-efficient. Still no? Look at any desktop or laptop. Last years' comparable model was not Half of this years. Show me any product or industry that has done this.
If you don't want to spend the money on this year's model, then don't spend the money. And say that. Nobody is going to fault you for that. However, saying that this model isn't impressive or calling it "rushed" is insulting to the Engineers who made it possible.
The Screen has also been brought up as a 'meh' by some people. They want bigger. I've had people hold up the iPhone Retina Display (and apps' automatic conversion) and the iPad up as examples of Apple "just taking care of it." The iPhone4's Retina display has double the vertical and horizontal resolution of the previous iPhones (4x the pixels). (Take a square, draw an equilateral cross in it and you now have 4 squares.) Apple can't make the pixels bigger and still keep the idea of the "Retina Display". They also can't "just" (there's that word again...) add more pixels without either making Developers miserable or making things look awful by trying to auto-handle apps. The iPad was different; it could run an iPhone app at native size in the iPad, but it looks like a single playing card on a blank table, or scale it up to twice the size, so it now looks like a huge blurry playing card with an awkward border around it. And have you used an iPhone-only app on an iPad? It's just awkward if not ugly.
Perhaps they could increase the screen resolution of the phone, and allow apps that aren't scaled to handle that run surrounded with a black border. But the Retina display is only a year old, and making Devs rush about re-sizing their apps (where they don't have to redo all of their artwork!) this soon is a bit much. It's likely that screens will change in the future, and perhaps this is how it will happen, but now is (obviously) not the time.
Never mind that software has always been Apple's big differentiator.