Yeah, the field of view on the hololens was the most disappointing part of the hardware. After trying it out and then looking at the marketing materials, I can tell that most of it is marketing BS. The hololens FOV is about equivalent to holding an 8.5x11 inch sheet of paper 18 inches away from your face. To view an entire scene which is larger than that FOV would require you to be constantly moving your head around to scan the entire scene.
The surprising bit about the hololens (which I'd never considered) is that because it's a hologram, the color "black" is transparent, so if you're a keen observer of both the hololens and magic leap videos, you'll notice that they very carefully design their scene objects to not have black or dark colors. It's an interesting design limitation, but by no means does it detract from the coolness of the hardware.
I think the super interesting challenge, which becomes apparent when you watch these AR videos, is whether or not they can handle dynamic background objects. Magic Leap is noticeably absent -- they're projecting their video onto a static background with no moving actors, so they don't have to worry about depth & occlusion rendering. The hololens does a decent job with this, but it's pretty easy to confuse the hardware.
My humble opinion is that the more secretive a company is about their future tech, the less likely it is that it is actually viable. Microsoft has given public demos and done hackathons with hololens, so we can make a pretty clear distinction between what is hype and what is real. Magic leap on the other hand... 100% hype at this point in time. I would be reluctant to trust journalists who are invited to a private demo because they are certainly going to be hand picked and biased to write only favorable input or risk not being invited back for a second viewing.
Interesting new development though: Magic Leap has purchased a new office building in downtown Seattle, so maybe some of us will be able to get an inside scoop or preview on their tech in the near future.