I don't believe in perfection. I think the story is a masterpiece because the writing, voice acting/acting, paired with the superb animations. The gameplay while great is not a masterpiece though which is why i cant call the entire game a masterpiece.
The graphics are great when it comes to the main character models, but the world it's self is not as pretty as the characters and falls behind on games such as Crysis, Far Cry. Tomb Raider, and God of War Ascension.
However the voice acting like you said embarrasses most games. I think this is as close to hollywood as we have gotten and in fact i think the writing fits hollywood style perfectly. The only other game that I would say has a comparable voice-acting cast is in Far Cry 3 but even then it falls well behind the entire cast of "The Last of US"
Easily GoTY contendor. I will say it has been my GoTY so far and I think it's only competion right now is Bioshock infinite. I also want to say that it is now probably one of my all time favorite games.
Eh, the comparisons to those games can only be one from an art direct standpoint. It's beauty and tech achivements aren't one in the same. Technically, there isn't a game on PS3 like it at all.
Second, I think TLOU's world is quite beautiful, but coming from a strong PC world now, its tech pretty much peaks current consoles (Digital Foundry backs this up with quite the analysis). I love how they word it, because they agree with pretty much everything I've called it from the beginning and understand the anatomy inside-and-out. Their bottom line, along with mine: The Last Of Us does what it needs to and ditches a more linear approach for more open-ended gameplay, hence the slight hit to the visuals+performance vs Uncharted 3 (which I still think it's even with), while still being an unparalleled tech victory for the PS3.
Lastly, in regards to GOTY, I think it'll have more competition from GTA V than Bioshock.