One of the best aspects of Survivor and its longevity is the fact that for times than not, Mark Burnett and company have assembled a tv-friendly cast most seasons and thus made tuning it a must. In fact its fair to say that the strength of the cast is the sole determining factor in whether a particular season of the show can be looked at as an exciting or boring one. Some of the best non-All Star casts that I can recall off the top of my head:
Survivor Pearl Islands
Of course there have been some poor ones as well such as:
Survivor Vanuatu (in my opinion the WORST cast ever)
All in all I think Survivor Nicaragua has assembled a very interesting bunch that has made this season interesting. NaOnka is so outrageous with her remarks that she is a must-see in order to hear what comes out of her mouth next, Marty is a real hard core player who is so arrogant that you hope he gets the boot, Holly is psycho, Kelly B with her disability is a nice story, Jimmy Johnson with his celebrity, etc. No doubt we will be seeing some of these people again in upcoming All Star editions which are in the works as we speak.