OK! I've finally gotten the soundtrack and have listened to most of the songs. The only thing I can say is that the music is almost a complete different style of composition, so it will be either better or worse in other's opinion. Since Nobuo Uematsu didn't compose this, it really doesn't stack up too well against the like of FFX, FFVII and FFVIII. It still is a good score and probably tells the story very well but, from what I have heard, there isn't too much of a contrast when it comes to the "dark" and "light" sides of the story. Take, for example, "Zanarkand", "The Blitzers", and "Final Battle" (all from FFX) and you will notice the difference in emotion and feeling that Nobuo Uematsu has put into them. To me there is the start of a song then all of a sudden it stops or fades away. I would have like to have heard more of the building, climax, and a decline in the music's intensity. Also, there is a lot of fanfare style of music which reminds me of Star Wars' opening theme. Hitoshi Sakimoto has used a few songs that Uematsu has composed and re-arranged them for the FFXII soundtrack which might be a plus or minus for other gamers.
Being a percussionist, (in high school band) I tend to look for the composer's use of drums and mallet instruments. This is one thing that I like coming from Hitoshi Sakimoto. His use of bass and drums really adds depth to the music along with the light heartednes of mallet percussion.
Sakimoto does his thing to captivate the listeners but falls short of the bar set by Uematsu. It just seems to be missing that "wow" factor that everyone who listens to Uematsu knows and loves. Great soundtrack don't get me wrong but when it comes to music I can be very picky and would like to have heard more from Sakimoto.
My verdict: If you love FF soundtracks, collect them, and don't mind spending $30 plus, then by all means buy it now! However, if you don't like orchestrated music and think that $30+ is too much for a video game soundtrack, then wait for the game and listen to the music while playing.
Oh yeah feel free to criticize, agree or disagree with me, and i know I have a biased opinion when it comes to Uematsu. I think he is the greatest composer of all time.