You know, technical excellence aside, Ducati is the best at selling a lifestyle along with it's motorcycles. Harley leads the pack, but I think Ducati knows what it's doing too. All of which does nothing to dispel the likely fact that the 1098 is gonna be wonderful.
Ya know, maybe we're on to something. Triumph and BMW either don't care about that stuff, or are so confident of their "brand" that they don't even bother. MV Augusta and a few odd brands could maybe find a way to survive as something distinctive, in a Robb Report sort of way. Not what I would want personally, but the more identifiable "brands" the better, in the long run. If their are enough varieties of 'character' made available to people, suddenly, the Japanese machines have traits that, in many cases, would be called bikes that have the "Fundamental Verities" in their makeup. That would be things like reliability, and an agreeable nature.