I would definitely agree that the long gestation period has impacted sales of this CD, as have years of downloading of the demos. But, that said, it's still a terrific album - is it as good as 'Appetite for Destruction?' No, of course not - but, it doesn't have to be. I would say it's easily as good as either of the 'Use Your Illusion' albums - it's got a couple of great songs, along with several very good to excellent songs and one or two less than great tracks.
I do think this is a GNR album - and not just because it says so on the cover. It may not have any of the other original members, but, it does have Axl's voice and his vision, and I'd say that makes it "more" GNR than Velvet Revolver. VR isn't bad (their first album was pretty excellent, I think), but, everytime Scott Weiland opened his mouth, it made the band sound like STP. And, that's what's happening on 'Chinese Democracy' - everytime Axl opens his mouth, it sounds like GNR.