The difference is often exaggerated when you're below an ideal amount of ram. If it has to frequently access a pagefile, the value of that disk speed becomes much more apparent.It's actually more than just the cpu package. Things such as the display have quite a bit of impact on battery life. Power management has to be aggressive in multiple areas to get close to that kind of battery life.
Their answers don't contain a lot of depth, but that isn't really the point. You have mentioned being against all taxes, and you stated "taxes are theft". It seems to contradict your claim that you could support a plan like that one.
I don't see a lot of workloads that fall between this and the 15" mbp. Typically if you can leverage all available power, there's a pretty significant gap there. I see sluggishness due to ram and disk access far more than cpu bound problems when it comes to lighter tasks.
I do get the problem with going by benchmarks. It's just not a very meaningful metric. I was also pointing out that the performance in 2011 is irrelevant. This ships with a different OS, and overall performance with whatever is shipping today is the important thing. Older hardware can often appear like it was never usable, but it didn't run the same software.
There wasn't an enormous spread between the top and bottom processors in that tdp range. I do think the comparison misses the mark though. What matters is how it runs typical basic (or any other) applications today.
The cpus used in the 13" airs are also quite expensive, but it's likely that if this design takes off, it will become at least the basis for their next base model. I figured that the motivation for a cheaper macbook air was partly to offer a starting machine outside the US for no more than $1000.