"I'd still be much happier if we were just sending a thousand tiny robots there, and just driving them all away from a central spot. We'd get a lot more area covered, a lot more pretty pictures, find a lot more odd things that deserve closer attention and a failure won't mean failure of the mission."
So once your Martian microbot army has wandered all over the place taking pictures, how exactly are they meant to pay attention to all the odd things they find? They'd need to take samples. Oh wait, your microbots aren't equipped with sampling devices. Fit them with sampling devices you say? What form would they take, I wonder? Drills and chemical analysis units, of course! Wait, hold on a sec...
So I'm very interested in hearing what you think you might find by just photographing the planet (which has already been done from orbit of course). The presence of water increases the probability that life has or may exist, which will open up all sorts of philosophical and theological debates, yet alone our understanding of how life works. It also will tell us lots about the early solar system, which in turn will help predict what to find in other solar systems.
Have you ever seen Robot Wars (or similar)? You know the robots that have spikey-hammer-arms? Yes, they're always shit aren't they, barely scratching some ali plate while throwing the attacking robot around and about thanks to Newton. This is (one reason) why they're using drills and not hammers on Curiosity. Merely cracking it open will give you what appears to be homogenous material for the most part, so you could learn very little from it. The drilling isn't used to see what's on the other side, it's to get right down and taste the composition of the rock which will tell you a shit-load about that rock all all it's nearby friends.
Essentially Lee, you need to get your head out of your arse and discover what _is_ being found, not what you think ought to be.