Hmm.. I just got totally butchered by a bear (barely scratched him even with a sneak attack) whilst near the start of the game there was a bear I took down in two hits.
So either level scaling is in effect, or that first one was a specially scripted bear.
I think it might be the second one though since a NPC that was nearby at the time claimed bears were fierce.
No more crashes since the update, so I guess they did something right.
So far it's been like playing a fancy Oblivion expansion.. which is ok I suppose.
The world is still pretty empty, but I do like the viking setting more than Oblivion's and some areas are gorgeous.
I kind of like the whole build your character as you go approach as well, now you're worrying about how to build your character ingame instead of at the beginning.
It sucks that you can't skip the intro (as far as I can tell, maybe that was fixed by the patch as well) though, so you'll have to watch that whole thing everytime you start a new character.
And there might be less skills than before, but there are still plenty of skills and each skill has a 'perk tree' associated with it to increase them even further.