I came across this short but interesting video of the new XTR offerings from Shimano. Looks like people in the ad department are fans of the television show 'Lost'. Watch the wmv and see what I mean. Personally, I like the design of the new shifter/brake levers. The old dual levers always seemed a bit fragile with that pod mechanism sticking out. The new controllers appear more industrial and durable, much like SRAM components.
The website I found this video on also has a nice summary of all the new XTR parts and gives details as to how the new controllers will operate. It's originally in German, but this link will translate it into English.