First off I never thought of the Mac Pro as a desktop, it is more off a machine for professionals. Or it should be but Apple configures it in odd ways that results in the comments in this thread. You see I fully understand it is a low volume machine, but Apples seems to be hell bent on selling it as a compromised machine at a high price. Here I'm talking about the video cards for the most part. If it is a Pro machine configure it as such.
What is worst is that Apple tries to sell a watered down version of this machine as a desktop machine in the image of the many PC desktops. However the machine can't really be priced for that market either. Thus the continued growl from the Mac community for an XMac. That is a true desktop machine built from desktop parts for people like me. That is somebody expecting a little better performance than can be had in a Mini and a half decent video card. I say card when talking about video but would be happy with a soldered in discrete video GPU on the motherboard. I'm not here to slag the Mini as it is a very nice machine, especially in the last revision, but it is just a little short on power. What I'm implying here is that Apple needs to concentrate on the Pro market with the Mac Pro and deliver a machine for the rest of us slotted between the Mini and the Pro in price. That way you aren't delivering half baked Mac Pros to the middle of the road market and creating ligitimate issues for the high end users. I know the various XMac ideas are seen as a joke in the Mac using community, but really you guys need to move a lot more Macs to sustain the current high stock price. Filling the desktop void would go a long way to solving the problem of accelerating sales even more. By the way some of us have come to see the Mac Pro as a bit of a joke these days for reasons other than expressed here.
The other thing that tweaks me a bit is AMD, does Apple have a problem using their chips? Frankly it is the only leverage you have with Intel. AMD is Apples best chance of delivering an XMac class machine at a reasonable price and without the wasted hardware of an Intel solution. Apple needs to do something as the hardware line up has been stagnet for years on the desktop. You know this is true, as the Mini, iMac and Pro haven't changed in years.
Thankfully Apple still innovates with the Laptop line, I'm actually impressed with the new AIRs. The question is this you drive sales of your portables via being innovative but apparently have punted, given up, with the desktops - so what is the problem? Like I said I'm not a Mac Pro user as I'm getting by with my old MBP, but honestly the recent Mac Pro iterration looks like it was an after thought or a fall back plan of some sort.
Maybe my perspective is a little warped but the value equation isn't very balanced at all for the two desktop machines Apple has. The Mini isn't bad at all but the Mac Pro quickly becomes outlandish when viewed against middle of the road hardware. By the way I left the iMac out of the discussion because I don't consider it to be a desktop due to the built in monitor.
If you care to discuss this further feel free to. I'm even willing to take the discussion off the forum. Just be warned I'm not impressed at all with Apples desktop line up. The current hardware thumbs its nose at whole classes of users. That isn't good for Apple long term.