OK, an update and a few corrections, or clarifications.....
The V5.2M update I received directly from VW included a separate color printed 8.5x11 installation sheet. It did not have any indication of anticipated time length for the update, though it did indicate that if you shut the car down before completion, the installation would resume when you restarted the vehicle. For the record, the update did NOT complete, and for the record, it did NOT resume when the vehicle was restarted. As for 7.6GB being removed and added back to a relatively slow HD, I'm calling BS a bit. Not that LokiWolf is wrong, but that it's simply a weak explanation. Heck, even a drive with the extremely poor performance of an old RLL or MFM drive (we're talking decades old) should be able to handle data transfer FAR FAR FAR FAR FAR in excess of well over two hours.
I apologize in that my search on this forum for whatever reason did not pick up those other threads, as I did search for the V5.2M update. Even beyond that, however, I also think it's simply poor execution on Conti/VW's part. As a very senior tech professional, I find this entire issue to be crazy in 2013.
I dropped the car off at the dealer (who now agrees with my assessment and plans frankly to buy the car back if the update does not significantly improve the situation) yesterday evening. Before doing so, I checked and yes, I am running version 3696 (bought car at beginning of August). Left the DVD package with them, and even they were scratching their head about VW.
I would also echo the backup camera. When I start the car in the morning, it simply takes so long to activate that I'm already driving down the street before it would ever start working - just like what eshawger said. Meaning, open the garage door, get in car, start car, buckle seat belt, check behind me, back out, close garage door, and still no backup camera. That is entirely typical of every single time I start the car after not driving it for more than an hour.
I'm not sure what firmware version the V5.2M disk will result in. As for as getting used to the touch interface, please note that I've not complained about "general usability nuisance" issues such as what was mentioned about having to go through screens of favorites, etc. Only core functionality gaps. In my case, the most absolutely critical functionality (beyond simply locking up) is the fact that the touch screen for phone dialing is effectively unusable. Delays (per digit entry) are often 1-3 seconds per touch. This makes the device absolutely and totally broken for things like passcodes and conference bridges - which are incredibly important to me. As it stands, I must always initiate conference calls from my handset at this point - which is totally useless and voids the safety and convenience factor that I've enjoyed since 2000 with my other vehicles.
I appreciate the information here, but I also think that it's inappropriate to not consider the realities of the situation, as every forum and public venue becomes data points for companies such as VW to use in making product decisions. I'm a huge fan of the engineering that VW put into the TDI "mechanics" and give them great credit, but on the other hand, that in no way gives them a free pass for the obvious and deplorable behavior surrounding the RNS510. Honestly, I didn't even know what an RNS510 was before I bought the car as my expectations and requirements are fairly low, general and have been satisfied by every other large manufacturer for more than a decade. It is not reasonable to support Volkswagen in expecting people seek out forums such as this prior to every purchase in order to find pertinent information about features of their vehicles - that they are advertising.