I have a number of JW family members and some close JW friends (and still go to a meeting once in a long while) and I haven't heard what you have reported as being common statements.
However, I think that just from a larger socio-cultural perspective, I think that a person has to be completely disconnected not to be more than a little bit concerned about the future of humanity.
Nevermind such major concerns as the environment and global warming (if it turns out to be more than normal fluctuation), the facts that we have this situation in the Middle East, this stupid stupid war going on, the very real prospect of further conflict, perhaps with Iran, maybe with North Korea, the fact that 2006 seems to be Year of the Protest over everything from Immigration (U.S.), Immigrants (France), Labour Issues (France), Religious Fanaticism (numerous places re: Mohammad Comics), and Politics (Belarus, and many other places), and so forth and so forth -
All of these things have many people worried about the future. As you know such troubles and uncertainty fit perfectly with the JW worldview, thus they could hardly be blamed for translating what is widespread social angst along the lines of the theology and JW worldview.
I would point out again that there are many other Christians that are expressing the very same thing aka "that the end is near" due to observing world conditions and developments and feeling what most people are feeling.