On the whole art thing... Good lord, were it up to me the game would be entirely played within Strategic View. No need for pretty graphics; 2D is enough to convey everything required, so it is enough for the game. Rather than try for top of the line graphics with pretty pretty leaderheads, I would prefer the ability to play larger maps, with more civs, at a faster speed. This obsession amongst gamers for better graphics with every game is a handicap, IMO. It's important in some genres (FPS, for example), but strategy games? You don't need graphics, you need strategy, depth, thought-provoking mechanics.