1) We are castle builders..the castle sets pale in comparison to what we want and build...big boring wall pieces..half built buildings...etc
4) If they were to build a huge epic castle for us, it would be so expensive no one could/would buy it. And it wouldn't be up to the standards we use.
These 2 points brought up by Blue are perfect. As for the figures and heraldry, that's where the real issue is. I was among most people wanting something new and fresh, but I got to thinking. Both factions emblems aren't that bad. I am disappointed that the Lions have blue on the torso, so switching out the arms won't be a good option like the last Lions faction had. They do however fit in with the crownies from the Fantasy era with minimal effort. The Dragon on the other hand are not as workable. I suppose you can't put a red boar on a faction and then include a red dragon, but I'd rather have had a red boar and no dragon. They work well for a faction by themselves, but I'd like to have had them continue the dark green color scheme if they are not giving us new forest men right away. The problem again lies with the dragon. I'd have loved the new black falcon symbol used as the opposing faction with a yellow or gold matched with black.
As far as the LOTR sets, thank god they are based on the movies and not the books. What's the point of even having a license if the source material has no visuals other than some artwork? You could easily just use existing or 3rd party items if you wanted that. I'm not a fan of licensed themes because of the price increase and the fleshies, but I am happy for this line. Like Starwars, Harry Potter, and Superheroes, LOTR needed to be done. I'm pretty happy with the new parts offered in these sets.