NMA preview: labeled anything from innovative to the worst idea of all time, I don't really see either one as being very valid. "Unoriginal" is the name I'd use. If I had to describe V.A.T.S. at gun point, I'd call it a system of RT combat with limited pausing through fatigue (Action Points) and super-attacks (aimed shot), which to most people will sound pretty much like what BioWare started doing in the mid-90s with the Infinity Engine
Desslock: I don't agree with the preceding paragraph. The last sentence is just wrong - BioWare only produced two Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate 1 and 2, and the related expansions), and the first game in that series didn't come out until the late 1990s (so your dating is wrong, a minor detail, but you guys are obviously pay great attention to detail, so I thought I'd flag it).
More importantly, the reference makes no sense to me - neither Baldur's Gate game had action points or "super-attacks". The system is clearly closer to the "aimed shot" mechanic of the Fallout games - you use perception, get targeting information, and inflict damage based upon targeted shots and your weapon skills — there's nothing like that in the Baldur's Gate games, and the only thing Fallout 3's combat has in common with the Baldur's Gate games is that it occurs in real-time, and is pausable.
Finally, as you know, I have concerns about the combat as well, and look forward to learning more about it and seeing it in action. But it's clearly unfair and misleading to call it unoriginal, when there's actually never been a similar system utilized by an RPG. It culls aspects of features from other games, but the combat system certainly seems unique. Again, that doesn't necessarily mean we'll like it or that it'll satisfy Fallout veterans, but it's certainly an original, hybrid combat system.