I had a chance to test drive the new 696 a couple weeks ago and wrote up a review. First let me say - I had some serious fun on this bike! It is F-U-N.
A very worthy successor to the 695. I had a few quibbles but nothing too major. If I was in the market for this style of bike I'd seriously consisder it.
Here's a link to the full length review.
Hope you enjoy it!