I accept your comments and perspective. I've been keeping a close interest in what Rex and Glen (and others) have found and what's in development. Great news for the Whisperers, FT8'ers, etc. But I'll take a difference tact and is a personal view...
Look what the IC-9700 is doing to the market and band utilisation. This rig is forcing the adjustment of the second-hand market for rigs such as the IC-910, TS-2000X, etc. Although not as much like what the IC-7300 has done to the lower end of the second-hand HF market. Some more of these 910's & 2000's are coming on the market at a price point that is within the reach of more people than before, resulting in more utilisation of the upper bands. Want evidence? Sorry, I prefer gut feeling. A classic example of this is a handy station in SW Vic now has my old 910H (inc 23cm). I've retained my 9100 for non-SSB purposes.
The 9700 has re-sparked my interest on 2/70/23 SSB after a 6 year hiatus and has triggered a fair amount of construction & cabling work here in recent times in order to play on these three bands on SSB.
For me, my IC-9700 is working to Icom's specs. I'm another regularly satisfied customer of Icom. I love this rig and I'll probably depart my shack before this rig does. I love how it operates, how well it operates, it's user interface, usual Icom ergonomics & build quality. I'm impressed with the receiver, love the spectrum scope, it comes standard with 23cm & DStar, the CS-9700 is free and in my opinion you get a lot for your $2.4k compared to what we got with the 910H, 9100, 2000, etc plus options. And it looks bloody good sitting next to the 7300.
While it's not quite what a small minority expected in regards to the 10Meg ref implementation, perhaps some of the pre-release documentation or hear-say was incorrectly communicated, misinterpreted or not quite what some wanted. Either way, for those that require a highly stable rig further than what the factory specs are, I'm sure they'll find a low-impact solution, whilst still hopefully protecting the 5 year warranty. I don't participate in any of the automated weak signal digital modes - therefore any slight drift issues don't affect me - but each to their own. I applaud those that are coming up with solutions - that's ham radio - but you won't see the 9700 sitting in my shack becoming devoid of the Icom 5yr warranty.
Steve, I'll drop in over the next few weeks, we'll smoke a pipe & sip a sherry together and reflect on the birth of the IC-9700...