It doesn't really surprise me that Roland omited the sequencer in that model, because lots of players (myself included) would rather use an outboard sequencer anyway. Maybe this was their way to keep the G series at a premium and keep the E series as a "play right outta the box" instrument.
Sequencing is not everyones bag, but with home computers and a cheap program you can have a full blown multitrack studio at your fingertips, these days.
The e96 is still a pretty versitile "live" arranger with a very good speaker system in it. You should have no trouble making lots of music with a unit like that one !