Image texture not working as expected with Cycles

I am trying to learn materials with Cycles.
I managed to load an image and use it as a texture. The preview in the material editor looks really nice.
However, both the 3D view with “Material” enabled and the render show a result in which the texture is not even recognizable - only the average color is more or less visible.

What did I do wrong ?
Please help - I’m going to pull all my hair with my bare hands quite soon.
See the attached screenshot.

The .blend file and the texture are also included below.
(PS: Blender 2.66 on Ubuntu)


untitled.blend (524 KB)