The strongest aspects were the almost complete lack of gadgets, the fact that Bond actually has a character arc (learning to keep people alive occasionally...), and the professional relationship with Camille Montes. The best scene of this relationship is just before the climax when Bond reminds Montes to remember her training when it comes time to make the kill.
To me this made the violence less casual by reinforcing that it needs to be prepared for, that there is a mental state needed that (for most people at least) requires training to achieve.
Montes also has an interesting character background, and I especially appreciated the willingness of the Director to resist the temptation (tradition?) to make Bond girls flawlessly pretty by including a large burn scar on her back as part of establishing that character.
Less impressive was the somewhat excessive explosions, fires, and general fragility of the hotel in the final action sequence. As dalekboy pointed out afterward it wasn't necessary and even detracted from the focus on the characters which had carried the film so well up to that point. I will acknowledge however that the script include a one-liner beforehand to at least provide some justification for the explosions.
On the way home I discovered that Canberra has been invaded by thousands of kids for the Pacific School Games. On the approach to Dickson I pulled up to a set of lights as some Japanese girls were crossing the road and I collected a "Sugoi!" from one of them when she saw the trike. :)