Very well written, great article. It's amazing how this subject still causes huge uproars. I agree especially with the part about art direction, it does have a huge impact on what the visuals seem to be, look at Metroid Prime 1 & 2, LoZ: TP, Okami, etc. They're beautiful, and stunning still, IMHO. I personally don't really care about graphics, in terms of polygon count, HD, or all that. If I did, I certainly would have never bought or played any PS2 game since Xbox and Cube came out, and because I had a high-end gaming PC back then also. It's funny how the Sony fanboys were screaming a different thing when PS2 was weaker than it's competitors, now that PS3 competes in processing power, suddenly "it's all about gfx". Hell, I'd even play a visually C64-level game now if it had something new and innovative gameplay-wise (and would be compelling in terms of story, etc. of course). I've been playing since C64, and now, 10 years after Nintendo made analog stick a standard in console gaming, I want a change. I don't want to play the same old games from the end of '90s on an upgraded graphics engine, on the same controllers. That's why I don't play much on my PC anymore, even though I have a high-end one. That's like eating the same few kinds of food day after day for years and years, only served differently, and possibly on a newer, shinier plate. I think the gfx that Wii is CAPABLE of, (as DazzeL pointed out, at least Doom 3/HL2 quality), are more than enough. And with a little skill and effort, especially on the art department from the devs, I say Wii could have some truly stunning looking games (at least IMHO, but I consider visuals to be a lot more than just high polycount and HD.).
Plus, finally, there's a console that can have a decent AI in FPS games without giving the player auto-aiming, not to mention the indefinitely better immersion and the feeling of aiming and firing w/ the Wii Remote, if done properly. And RTS games where you don't have to spend hours on a single mission, simply because moving camera, selecting troops via dragging, moving to build/command/etc. -menus in a hurry, with an analog stick, is a real pain and really annoyingly slow.
But, I'm not saying "Nintendo rulez" or any other fanboy-&¤%#. No matter which company would have done what Nintendo did with Wii, I would've felt the same and loved them for it. I'm just saying, as a long-time hardcoregamer, thank you Nintendo for the Wii.