I think any layman can understand the impact of a thought of card arriving at a thought of number without the magician ever touching he cards. Presented properly, with emphasis on the right attributes, it'll astound an audience as well as any other version of ACAAN, and it's cleaner.
I'm sure they can understand how impossible of a situation it is, but wouldn't it be better to simply have someone name a card and then show the card on top of the pack? It's more direct, nothing to clutter the effect. In my mind, unless you've broken down the odds of it happening, which is usually a pretty boring thing to listen to the magi ramble on about numbers, it doesn't seem any more unlikely. That brings me to another point, it's an unlikely occurrence, not magic. Paul Vigil is a good friend and mentor of mine and he has a line that I love and caused me to reexamine a lot of my magic. Paul said "Magic isn't a 1 in a million. Magic is a 1 in a mother******* can't." Maybe I'm spoiled or jaded, and this is coming from someone that's played with the CAAN plot for a while, but it just never struck me as a great plot. I'd rather just produce a named card from my pocket, which is one of the strongest, least cluttered effects you can shoot for.
Am I wrong, but wouldn't breaking down the odds of it happening actually make it seem less impressiv? Unless I"m missing something, the odds of a named card being at a named number are 1 in 52. While impressive, it's not that impressive and certainly doesn't come off as impossible (gamblers place money on things with worse odds).
I don't have an ACAAN routine, but I do have a fairly simple CAAN that I use and it gets really good reactions. Basically a sealed envelope is given to a spectator to hold. Then a deck is given to the spectator to shuffle (and examine if they'd like). After returning the deck to the magician, the spectator holds their hand over the envelope, concentrates, and then writes the first number from 1 to 52 that comes into their mind on the envelope. The magician counts down to the chosen number and flips over the card (we'll say the two of diamonds). The spectator tears open the envelope and removes the prediction showing it was in fact the two of diamonds.
The method I use is simple, it's presented as simple mentalism, uses an ungimmicked deck, and it seems to impress enough that I can't imagine getting better reactions by using an ACAAN routine (which feels to me like it would be more of a pain in the butt than it's worth).