Agreed 100%. They have retarded the timing to eliminate knocking with pakistani fuel. However thye are facing a problem with no or little low end torque. The AUTO version litrally thinks for 2.5 seconds about whether to rev up from a stall on AC or not (given you have a bad fuel inside the tank).
Some 2 months ago, i volunteered to be upgraded to new ECU code. Since my car wasnt knocking (09 model), so Honda guyz suggested me that there is no need. But I couldnt resist an upgrade. What I felt is that they have made the timing retard on the entire RPM range. So previously i felt like the car badly demands an upshift at around 3000 rpm. Now it feels smooth at that range.(same as when after an overhaul, you play with a carby distributor without a gun to know where exactly the car should demand an upshift as per your preference yet avoiding ping).
Also the downshifts on auto are more smooth.
Kher what Honda guyz are facing now is to somehow tweek with vtec point to avoid its delay. (as per my talk with Honda Field engineer 2 days ago)