In Insurrection Geordi said that Data had removed the emotion chip. Despite what Brent Spiner says on the new DVDs he has said in the past that he didn't like the chip.
Still in the end I thought he was more human than ever before byt sacificing his own life as he did.
Even without the emotion chip, Data seemed to be having a lot of "early Data" behaviors, his awkwardness seemed back a few notches from where he seemed to be in S7-GEN-FC.
I agree about the sacrifice. And can see how Spiner felt he'd covered the ground with Data and this statement was a good coda on Data's journey.
I've never been more wrong when leaving the theater from NEM. A sequel seemed too obvious - maybe there's bad karma in that - never quite
set up the sequel unless you know it's in the bag -