Fair enough. They've adopted pretty much the same model since the iPhone was launched: Add the new model at the top price, shift all the others down the price band, lowest spec model falls off the end. The free model is now the iPhone4
Nobody said that the iPhone 5 is half bad, or that the 4S was; what they lacked, IMHO, is any wow factor at launch. Siri went close, but expectations were just too high for that to suffice. This time there isn't even that; it's a great phone, but I would be hard pressed to find a single reason (*the* single reason) to want one. Except it's an iPhone, of course, and that will be more than enough for a lot of people.
Some will go for the bigger screen, the inclusion of LTE, the upgraded memory, the faster processor, the new pancake flat unibody construction...
The problem is that there really is not much else you can do with a phone. They could have added wireless charging, but they couldn't really see the advantages. If you could just charge across the air then I could see the need, but you still need to plug something into a wall and have your phone near it. You're still tethered, so the only difference is that I can't answer the phone while it's charging, and taking longer and wasting more power for the same result.
Lack of NFC is a different matter. Though again, I'm not sure the uptake is that high, and it would require finding room for yet another chip. On the other hand, Bluetooth 4.0 supports Near Field Communication and supports single-tap pairing/synching and very low power consumption. They're probably just going to go with that, since that's already built in.
Chances are I'll get one when my current contract runs out.
Though I have no idea what's going on with the cabling. Sounds like a disaster.