I have to admit some of it was a little difficult for me to get used to. It took a couple years for S&R to grow on me.
One thing that I've noticed in myself is that my tastes in music have changed a lot in the past 10 years.
Also, you have to look at it from this point of view: Would you feel satisfied playing the same sounding music over the years? So many people bash Yngwie because his sound never really changes. It's all fast, neo-classical... and that's it. Don't get me wrong, I like the guy, I like the music he plays... but having one of his CDs is enough because I already know what the others are going to sound like.
Steve on the other hand, experiments a lot. I like that he's not afraid to explore areas that might not be very popular. Although it might not be the most comfortable transition for ALL of his fans, we are still able to apreciate the tremendous talent he has in his musical abilities. At the same time, as he changes, as his style may change, as well as the sound of his music, new fans will be attracted.
As for Real Illusions, I don't really care for the whole CD just yet. Honestly, I didn't like it at all when I first heard it, so I let it sit for a couple weeks after listening to it 3 times. Then I sat down and listened again. My favorites are Building the Church, Dying for your love, Lotus Feet, and Under it All. In Lotus Feet, my favorite part of that song is about 4:47.5 (That's four minutes, forty-seven seconds, and a half) into the song. Playing it on my computer at work, it doesn't do it so much for me, but listening to it in my car, that part of the song just sinks in really hard. It's one of the best pieces of music I have ever heard.
As for Steve's singing... sure he doesn't have the range many other popular singers are known for. That's why he plays guitar. His voice isn't bad, just not trained. However, it is very unique. Anyone listen to Queen? Brian May and Roger Taylor don't have the best voices on earth, but they're VERY unique and I think they sound really good.
All in all, I wouldn't mind hearing another PAW type album, but at the same time, I really do like the fact that every time a new Vai CD comes out, I don't know what to expect.