Your basic hard-core kaiseki meal is 9 courses, and often more. By the end, you should be good and full, but not bloated. But you must be able to remember what you ate, in what order, and there is a why to it. What's more, many of the courses are actually several different dishes presented as mutual complements, which makes it more complex.
I don't have a problem with a 25-course meal, or 15, or 35 for that matter. What I want to know is, does the totality make sense as a totality? I've written academic books, and I know that it is more difficult to keep some sort of total coherence the more chapters you add. Eventually you end up with an anthology of essays, not a book. Just so, a meal of 25 courses seems to me in danger of being an anthology of tricks and ideas, not a meal. I've never eaten at Alinea, and would not attempt a judgment -- I just say it's a danger.
As to elaborate and complex presentation, I'll just note that when I ate at Kichisen, a very celebrated Kyo-ryori restaurant in Shimogamo, we were chatting with the chef (you're always served by the chef in small-scale -- i.e. not many people -- kaiseki) and he said he'd visited New York 8 years ago and was confused by the vertical food thing. Why does it all look like that, he wanted to know. We had to laugh: it was fashionable, I guess. He seemed bemused. If it's fashionable, surely that means one kind of dish should be like that, not everything, right? And this from a guy whose presentation is famous throughout Japan!