I posted a comment in that article. In case it doesn't get approved, here's the entirety of it.
"At $249, the 3DS is more expensive than a Nintendo Wii ($199) and a general device like the 8 gigabyte iPod Touch ($229)."
These have already been out for a while, and demand has dropped, resulting in lower prices. The 3DS is new and demand is high, resulting in the higher price tag.
"Given Nintendo's target audience -- casual gamers, people who don't even like to call themselves gamers -- that could become an issue."
Nintendo isn't targeting casual gamers with this system, really. Have you looked at the release lineup of games? Of the top titles, only Pilotwings is geared at "casual" gamers, and even then, I know plenty of longtime gamers (read: since the NES days) that will get it.
"Though some people already love the look, the 3DS struck me as decidedly retro, and not in a good way...I'd have loved for Nintendo to break away from that tired clamshell look and be as daring with the overall design as it was with the 3-D technology."
On the contrary, I prefer the clamshell design to any other one, and really, it's the only thing that will work. I don't think it's plausible to have that huge system fit in your pocket if it isn't going to fold, and as a handheld, it demands portability. What could you have possibly changed with it? It's perfect as it is.
"In an era chock full touchscreens, it's strange that the device includes and sometimes mandates a stylus for menus where you have to type in names and such."
Are you kidding? Unlike iDevices' touch screens, the stylus gives a preciseness to the device it wouldn't otherwise get. Also, why would you want to cover important data on the bottom screen while swiping with your finger? That's one of the reasons I don't buy games on my iPod Touch: my fingers cover up too much of what's happening. A stylus allows you to continue seeing what's going on.
"And the system still requires you to buy game cartridges...which seems odd given the overall rapid shift in tech towards digital distribution."
Wait wait wait...you're expecting these huge games to be entirely downloadable immediately? Tell me when brand new PS3/Wii/360 games are being digitally downloadable. I'm not talking about PSN/VC/XBLA games, I'm talking about the Super Marios, the Call of Dutys, and the Halos. You can't download those; why should the 3DS be expected to?
This along with the fact that some of us like having a physical copy of our games. Prevents DRM and when the servers are taken down in the future, we'll still be able to play our games.