I thought it curious that Ten should, while his regeneration was pending, talk about it being like death and a new man swanning off; after all, when he first appeared, having regenerated from Nine, he told Rose that he was exactly the same man (as Nine, with a new face.
I started Doctor Who with the Ninth Doctor and this is how I had always interpreted regeneration...."same man, new face." I was never really comfortable with Ten's explanation of regeneration in his last episode.
On a different note, I don't think the Eleventh Doctor has that dread of regeneration. In the episode Let's Kill Hitler where River poisons The Doctor, he goes back into the TARDIS to locate a cure. When he learns there isn't one is says something along the lines of "fine, I'll just regenerate then." Maybe were are going back to the "same man new face" philosophy?