The regions graphics can be seen as blurry in some places, that's true. We still have to fine tune the DirectX sharpening. Right now, they already weight 1.8 gigabytes on the hard disk, so what is sure is that we won't use a better resolution for images (meaning it would take 7.2 GB of non compressible files), it will have to be done by DirectX (hopefully).
As for the sprites, some can be slightly misplaced or not oriented the right way (harbors perhaps) but that's because it is still an alpha version: we don't intent to retouch them marjorly on the other hand. They are good to go for us. We are using 12 cities styles, splitted into 3 sub categories of size, just for cities. Industries, mines and agricultural sites are populating the two sprites shaped as a disk depending of their actual presence (i.e if you see a coal pit, then there is really a coal mine, if you see rice, then you have a rice pad, etc.).
As for game mechanic, yes about the Suez Canal. It will dynamically shows on map and will have a real game effect.