Those reviews are ok IMO...the pics alone are worth the read! It will be interesting what the reviews of the Getrag 6-speed manual transmission JCW will be like! My bet is, it will be summed up in one word...."Thrilling!"
As for the price thing, of course the JCW is going to cost more than the Mini S "most of the time"...read my lips: "Horsepower & Torque"! It's the engine and the brakes....the options for "either" the MCS or JCW will spread out the cost immensely. I've seen MCS's priced above base JCW's.
It's all about what you want. I love the MC, the MCS and the JCW...it all depends on where we are in life and family needs. I love the S, always have since 2002...but as I've become more MINI'zed over the years, I've grown more toward the JCW. When the 2014 F56 MINI came out I gravitated toward the MCS in VO with black roof & mirrors and black spoke wheels....then I saw the JCW and that BMW engine...so, that's where I headed...then it came down to what I needed and really wanted. Even with the options I added it's not that much more that a loaded MCS.