Thanks for your view, Bluesman. I happen to agree with Mud390 that the torque of the 250RR makes riding varied terrain difficult. I can also see it being much more useful in Europe than in the US, confirming your view that the market matters.
My favorite smaller Hondas include the NC-29 (CBR400RR) and the NC-35 (RVF400R), both with gear driven cams and neither available in the US (outside of the 1980's grey market). These 400 cc bikes have a lot more torque than the 250RR, making them better sportbikes and better around town. Without a tiered licensing system, I'm afraid we'll never see their modern conterparts in the US. [And putting a 450 twin in the Kawasaki EX-650R doesn't help - it really is too heavy, and too expensive for the performance it gives.]
Economics is the rub. There is a minimum fixed cost to produce any motorcycle. A base 250, 450, and 650 may very well all cost about the same. Higher performance engines justify higher quality suspensions and a bigger purchase price. We need economic reasons to go smaller in the US. The low cost, ease of riding and 70-90 mpg on an EX-250 is why the Ninjette sells so well. I'm really pleased to see some competition here, and I hope the economics and marketing will support the variety.