The ArenaNet Blog just released the redesigned Sylvari and I must say I'm impressed! They're sleeker, sexier and far less "cartoony".
Combining elf-like basic structure with plant-like features make this design far superior to the previous one.
The cleaner lines really improve the look and feel of the Sylvari making them more believable as a "plant" race. Add in the new clothing and the look is complete.
As for their personality, Angel McCoy on the blog writes this:
"A sylvari’s honor gives her a sense of propriety that the youth of other races do not have. In many ways, they are like the Arthurian knights (without the gender bias). They take their duties seriously, and they live by a personal code. Their justice system involves duels, and when duels no longer satisfy, then the wisdom of an elder sylvari prevails. While evil sylvari do exist, most stand up for what is right, and even those who succumb to nightmare have a hatred for the Elder Dragon Zhaitan and the horrors of Orr."
I was excited about the Sylvari from the first moment I heard about them. This redesign is the best thing to happen to the race. Kudos, Anet!