Nicely written article. I find nothing in this that turns me out or makes me sigh. The only point they may want to reconsider is the homologous brain size/intelligence. By all we know, they were smarter; we (H. sapiens) just accidentally figured out how to write more down and pass on knowledge more effectively.
There is some small evidence to support Auel's claims of intermixing, but largely this has been discounted. All other things equal, the simplest explanation (parsimony) is that our own tendency to destroy that which is different (not just interracial, but interspecies) would be the same now as it ever was. We are still working that one out. Do we honestly believe that H.sapien men would let the Neanderthal men have our women? Hell, were still fighting now over that crap, and this may have been the very point that led us to rise up against our neighbors and exterminate them. But this is off the point.
Well written, and highly intuitive. Good article.