The reason there has not been any product hype yet is because they are the third set of rules. They are basically struggling to get the L5R feel while putting their own spin on it and basically anything ready for gencon is going to be super rushed.
Locations alledgedly provide no economy but have abilities, personalities do not stay in play permanetly but leave play after a set number of turns, the seven only factions (which this poster pretty much confirms) potential alliance wheel like conquest.
Seven factions only doesn't necessarily suggest alliance wheel. Rather, its a sensible practical decision for the LCG format, as you want to have enough cards in the core set to have deckbuilding variety out of X core sets. All the FFG LCGs have had limited factions at the outset, and only Conquest has had anything resembling the alliance wheel.
I think a rules rewrite is inevitable, as the LCG model is different to the CCG model. Broadly, the economic consideration is that people need to have all the cards they need out of a small number of core sets, and one of each expansion. And honestly, while this was one of the most amazing CCGs, it was largely amazing because of the community, the evolving story and the engagement of the game creators, not because the game mechanics were spot on perfect.
I applaud the decision to take it back to basics. In my game group, there's no less than four of us wanting to play this game, and only one was around for the CCG. It needs to be a product that is primarily geared at attracting a new and devoted playerbase. Most of the old school crowd have disposable incomes, but don't have the free time to drive the tourney scene. It'll be the young new blood players who make this game a success or not.
I'm staying quietly optimistic about this reboot my group are big fans of the L5R rpg. We did have a few abortive attempts at playing the old CCG but not really having a player base near us made it quite difficult to learn. I'm hoping FFG have some success in making it more accessible and attract a new generation of fans.
I'm disappointed that the Mantis didn't make the initial cut but I'm sure enough they'll be an expansion in the future. 7 Clans should give people plenty to choose from in the meantime.