My thoughts after 2 hours (1 hour last night, somewhat tired and drunk, and one hour this morning)
The game looks drop-dead-gorgeous. I am running consistent 55-60fps, on all high detail settings, medium AA. The AA needs work, lots of jaggies here and there and the game needs a gamma slider. I find the game right now to be too bright, everything looks white-washed almost, they need to darken it slightly and bring in more depth in the environment colours, maybe reduce some reflections. Even with these issues, I still think it looks great, and will be absolutely phenominal with some tweaks, and some adjust ability.
The sound is decent and I love the little details that LFS so desperately lacks. The cars sound somewhat flat but the little touches from the environment help with the immersion: you can hear people working in the pits with the crowd in the background, when you drive slowly on the track, you can ever so slightly hear the horns and cheers of the crowd (not quite realistic in a solo practice...but great for race weekends), when you run wide off the track, the the next straight you can hear the grinding and rattles of pebbles bouncing around inside the car and under-tray, and when you hit a hard curb you can hear just the grinding and clunking of metallic mechanical parts crunching...it sounds like you just mashed a big metal machine into a huge boulder.
The driving physics feel pretty good (I have not driven all the cars yet), but the Lotus 49 reminds me so much of my times playing GPL, that super floaty, slippy yet fast and ravage beast. The Ferrari is also a pure beast. The old M3 feels like a more civilized XRT, and the new one feels powerful yet soft and squishy. The Force-feedback seems inconsistent to me, it feels quite numb most of the time then randomly tries to rip the wheel out of my hands, especially in a slide, i think the feedback should be more gradual to let you feel the car break loose...right now, you don't feel it in the wheel until the car is gone. I am also struggling with the input feel, I am not getting input lag but the input is very non-linear, very numb in the middle, then extreme inputs the more I turn. I like a very linear input, and I find this game to be very non-linear and there is no adjustment in the game that I can find.
Overall, it still needs some polish. But there is a great foundation at work here, they just need to clean it up. They need to address the AA, they need to address some UI configuration (wheel linearity, gamma), they need to liven up the car sounds, but the car physics feels very believable (I have never driven any of these cars or tracks in real life, so I have little to base my opinion off of, but it feels believable). I love LFS because I understand why things work well or why they go wrong. When I played NR2003, I would be left after so many crashes not understanding why I just crashed, watch the replay and still not understand why the car spun. I spent so much time in NR2003 saying "where is the car going, why is it doing this?", in LFS I always understand why things were happening, why i spun, why the car is doing something...AC has that same feeling, I know why I spun, I know where I made my mistake, next lap I make a correction and the car makes the corner better.
I have not played in the Logitech profiler yet nor have I fiddled with Catalyst Control center so improvements may be found there
The modding support will give the game near infinite life, if the multiplayer is good, this could easily become the unstoppable juggernaut in the sim-racing genre.
OS: Windows 7 64x
GPU: Radeon HD6880