Game industry website Gamasutra has added a new opinion piece about Mega Man 9. It is described as an examination of "Mega Man 9's anachronistic design to see how it provides an exhilarating experience uncommon with today's games, and how its pacing of positive feedback can be applied to the difficulty curves of real life." It's interesting to see how far things have come, and whether or not it's for the better. Personally speaking, I still need to devote the time to actually beating it, as I just haven't found the time to plow through the final series of stages, which must be done in a single sitting, just like the old days. Not being able to create a one-time save state doesn't really make the game harder, just being able to play it. In that way, Mega Man 9 can be too much of a good thing.
The article makes for a good read, and like some others, brings a smile to my face as I can relate to similar experiences many years ago when first getting a feel for the franchise.
Hopefully, next time Capcom will be able to recognize the difference, as I don't think that effectively pausing the game for a prolonged period would remove the exhilaration described by the author, as the time investment is still there; it would just be more manageable.