Having just seen the movie I have come to the conclusion that it should have been titled Adaptabots... since the movie was mostly about their ability to adapt organically instead of the characters. I also came to the conclusion that movie Jazz should have been renamed Blax or Hip Hop since he had nothing to do with Jazz culture and came across as their token racial minority robot to show they're cool.
While the movie is awesome for action and special effects, it didn't really give any of the Transformers much personality besides Optimus and only Optimus and Bumblebee really got an opportunity to think for themselves and develop as characters. A shame since all the favourite Transformers from the cartoons had distinctive personality traits and quirks.
Sadly most of this and their trademark behaviour was absent in the movie:
Megatron never made a maniacal speech while blasting away with his arm cannon
Jazz never showed us that he could find a way to accomplish something difficult with style as well as confidence
Bumblebee never asked Spike about something confusing in human culture... and acted like a strange amalgamation of Blaster and Wreck Garr when he could only communicate with sound bytes from the radio
Starscream never turned on Megatron or tried to undermine his authority
Ratchet was introduced as their technician but never actually fixed anything on screen
The other thing I couldn't help but notice in the movie that re-enforced the "white" feel to all the Transformers (rather than being cultural blank states): The humans.
In that movie if you're not white... or even more specifically white with dark hair then the best role they could get was someone's sidekick (Rachel Taylor, the sexy stylish computer analyst, might have been a bottle blond, but we could see what her real hair colour). Even the heroic black soldier is pretty much ignored... in the helicopter we learn he doesn't like the idea of eating alligator or crickets (how weird!) and he doesn't seem to have any family or people to celebrate with at the end. He was just there to provide the phone and work the radio.
Likewise the latino soldier only has personality so we'll feel bad when he gets wounded in battle, the hacker is useful for two scenes and is comic relief for the rest... which is also the fate of Sector Seven officer too. Really as far as characters they didn't really develop and weren't the characters we remembered from the 80s cartoon.
So it seems that Michael Bay's true talent was to combine the worst aspects of options A and B! He managed to make a lot of the characters "generic" by ignoring them while including a few poorly created "token" characters to pretend he's not.
How come he gets two votes!?