Personally, I find the omission of cruise a non-issue. But that's only my personal taste as I'm not a heavy mile cruncher and don't ever plan to be. And as someone else said, the SS is not a Sport Tourer, its supposed to be a more comfortable Sport Bike that was also designed to fit into a certain cost profile. I think Ducati did what they set out to do.
Now, as for the earlier comparison to the Ninja 1000...that's a tough pill to swallow because, frankly, the N1K will run circles around this Ducati. As a current Ninja 1000 owner, my non-ABS 2011 will also run circles around it. If Ducati was shooting for that segment, they've come up short. The 2017 N1K is a BEAST and you get A LOT of bike for the buck along with a new super electronics package and LED headlights, plus 125 HP!! MSRP $12,199!! The SS cannot compete with this new steed...just can't!
Where Ducati is king, IMO, is the soul that a bike has. Ducati's are different and provide more personal emotions and sexiness that an inline 4 can't quite provide.