Lightning: She has a mullet, what?
Sazh: Being 30 doesn't make you an old man. (I looked it up -- he's actually 40 -- but still.)
Snow: I was ready for another Zell or Wakka. This guy is surprisingly subdued.
Vanille: I heard from fifty people how bad her VA was. It's not as bad as I was braced for, but I'm pretty sure the actress was forced to spend several hours in the studio doing nothing but giggling. At least she has a reason to be here, unlike Penelo. (No, really, $10 to anyone who can explain Penelo's motivation with anything other than "Vaan was there.")
Hope: BAWWWWW. I guess I'd have been a mopey teenager too if my parents had given me a girl's name.
Mysterious NPC: Hey, guess what? If you're in the manual, you're either a PC or the bad guy. (Exception: Delita was in FFT's manual. You could make a case for him being the bad guy, I guess.) I didn't read it that carefully enough to remember which one you are, or even your name, so I guess I'll have to wait to find out.
First two hours: Keep jamming A.
Next two hours: Kind of wish auto-battle was actually automatic. FFXII spoiled me.
Battle transitions: Boo. FFXII spoiled me. CT spoiled me many years before that. It's 2010; do we still need the "whoosh"?
Tutorials: If they're not interesting, at least they're informative. Also, the enemy never attacks while you're learning, while you usually get to take an action during the tutorial. Bonus!
Crystarium: Obsessively check it after every couple of battles. The fact that all of your party members are different is great, by the way. I am also a big fan of out-of-party PCs getting experience.
Cinematics: You won't need your controller for most of the game.
Field Dialogue: Your party members talk while you're walking around. This is fantastic; why didn't they do this years ago? Although I suspect the real motivation was that they had too much dialogue to fit into all the cinematics.