I have been watching a replay of today's hearing on CSPAN tonight. The guy isn't John Roberts in his delivery, but he displays a similar modesty.
At this point, unless he starts drooling uncontrollably, I look for Alito to be confirmed quite comfortably with somewhere between 58 and 62 votes. But the fact that it will be even that close confirms that the SCOTUS confirmation process will never be the same. Remember, Clinton's nominees (Ginsburg and Breyer) were both unapologetic liberals, yet more than 90 Senators voted for their confirmations. Even Scalia, who fired up his pipe during his confirmation hearing, cruised to a 98-0 coronation.
The pendulum will never swing back to the level of deference that existed even 20 years ago. Let's just hope that it swings back enough to put out-of-bounds the type of character assasination BS I saw tonight from Sen. Kennedy. (BTW - Hats off to Sen. Biden for explicitly refusing to do the same.)
Finally, I find the "remember good ole Justice O'Connor" rhetoric from the Democrats slightly amusing. My recollection is that they didn't like her so much in 2000 after the ruling in a case that you might remember titled Bush v. Gore.