Being able to cast a 3 drop on turn 2 is THE clutch ability that ramp elves give green. This does that just fine. If you don't have a good turn 2 play, you can just make another Food and stockpile for later in the game. This card is definitely the worst 1 drop mana dork, but it's still a 1 drop mana dork.
I think this card is better than Joraga Treespeeker... *ducks*
Ok now we're fighting =P
Edit - And I think being a turn ahead for every turn past 1 is a pretty important part of the mana elves.
I pretty much agree with everything wtwlf said in the OP. 1 mana things that make mana are exceptionally powerful and rare (these days). I'll be playing this alongside every other 1 mana elf ever printed (all the way down to Boreal Druid, Avacyn's Pilgrim, and Elves of Deep Shadow).
This may only be 75% of an actual mana dork in the early game, but its 500% better as a topdeck as games go long.
500% of 0 is still 0 =P.
Sure, this is better than elves on turn 8. It's still bad on turn 8. And it's way worse on turn 1. I am fully unimpressed with this creature.
I don't think saying a card plays like Jeweled Amulet makes me wanna play that card lol.
I think this is worse than every other 1 mana elf that can make colored mana, is maybe worse than boreal druid, and is behind like 6-8 of the 2 mana ramp creatures. I like that it blocks tokens well, but I don't like basically anything else about it. Getting a mana only every other turn after the first activation is not where I want to be. Unless your cube has some way to abuse the tokens (beyond the usual mono-brown deck, as this is not where that deck wants to be), this is an easy pass for me.
I guess it's nice that it gives you something to do when you don't need its mana or another 2 mana, but if you get to that point in a green deck and aren't crushing it feels like gaining even 20+ life will be fairly irrelevant.