You know, to be honest, that's exactly what I've been expecting them to do after reading the State of the Game.
They didn't talk about NPC 'flirts' at all, they were talking about romances. I think the reason why people read it as NPC 'flirts' only (even though it wasn't ever stated that way) was because we have had NPC flirts in the past, but more fleshed out romances only with companions.
It could very well be very different with Makeb though. And even more so in the future. Making NPCs available for fleshed out romances would indeed be a (comparably) simple option to add more romance content later in the game (SGR or OGR) without having to recode old conversation trees or alter existing companions.
Those could be stand-alone romances, so to speak, and people who aren't interested in them could easily avoid them. You know, kinda like the romances with Cortez and Kelly in Mass Effect 3.
I'd think I'd like that.
I'd like if we'd get that and companion SGR on top of course, but I think, if I had to chose between nothing and non-companion SGR, the NPC option sounds rather good to me, granted it's a real option and not just a silly flirt.
I can't speak for all classes, but I know my SI (female) had a relationship in the storyline that lasted about as long as any of the companion romances...basically flirt, flirt, sex, done.