I sort of inadvertently ended up with both X and Y, so I tried Fennekin on my second game. Definitely liked it better than Froakie (I just can't get past that "my tongue is a scarf" design), though I definitely agree that these were the best starters in a long while!
(Contrast: Fire pig who has no apparent relation to fire, grass snake who doesn't look terribly floran, and an otter who becomes a samurai walrus. Somehow. I could continue, but I think we'd agree on at least most things I say regarding these points. )