Nice post, Numble! I think you point out many reasons why Sam & Max is the way it is, and what people can reasonably expect from TellTale (and I see how it directly relates to Ed's original post, which was also good). I think people forget that they're trying something new here, something that's not been done before. It's not an attempt to make Hit the Road: Part 2. If it was, then we could all quite justifiably been very upset with them, but instead Culture Shock is something different. It's almost like the "circus" section from Hit the Road (ie. the first chunk of the adventure).
Whatever it is, I think we're all going to have to get used to the idea that this is what Sam & Max is now. That might be easy for me to say because I loved it, but I also think it's true!