Just saying, though. Doesn't mean I'm happy about it.
Oh, absolutely. I'm not happy SGR for companions is not in, but neither am I going to cry foul because they "didn't flip the switch" and "it's so easy to do." I'm realistic that this is a ton of work and the more I think about it, the more complicated it gets! As you mention, conflict dialogues could take not only new VA work from the PCs and SGR companions, but also possibly from non-SGR companions!
So when they say "this will take a lot more work than we realized at the time," I absolutely believe them. That's not even taking into account how much coding may (or may not) be required. Especially with the Hero Engine, which is apparently a gigantic coding pain.
I'm not seeing them as the SGRA's I've been waiting for - they're [Flirt]s with world NPCs I'm likely only to ever see once.
Yep, it really isn't. It's still a big thing though. As you point out, their handling so far has been terrible, so to have ANYTHING is a big change and opens up possibilities for more in the future. I see this as more an announcement that "there will be stuff coming" than "here is your SGR stuff!" That's what it seems like to me. "Here is what we can do now, but there will be more in the future. It just takes a lot of work."
As for this part being in a paid expansion, that doesn't bother me. It's fine. It makes sense. It's far easier to put SGR into new stuff that they can build from the ground up. Retrofitting it into old content takes more work. So it's reasonable that they'd start with something easier (Makeb) before moving onto something harder (current companions). There's not much option for giving it for free either. You can't exactly make the SGR NPCs on Makeb free if you can't get to Makeb without paying. It's a stepping stone. They start with this, get SGR into the game, break the glass wall of silence and anything could happen next. Could be more, could be nothing.
But this is a start and it's far better than a week ago.