Just as a note regarding the potential redesigns, and as an avid Apple equipment owner, there are some concerns I have.
Firstly, removing the optical drive does have limitations and problems, and "Cloud" doesn't solve them. Our local ISP, the incumbent cable company is starting to put data transfer caps on connections on a monthly basis that seem quite low, especially if one's software and media are now distributed solely via said connection. Beyond that, I have had to install Final Cut Studio a few times (at a previous employer). Let's just say that the full install, with stock loops and such is NOT something I'd care to wait to download or have count against my monthly tally.
Secondly, the company I work for now manufactures networking equipment. The removal of a native Ethernet port means no new equipment for my almost-entirely Mac shop. Dongles and adapters, while adding measures of latency and even errors in some situations, are also a poor design. USB dongles are even worse; relying on the CPU and active backend to handle the most basic of tasks, rather than a smarter chip that interfaces on the normal accessory-device bus. We see this effect in USB hard drives (crap most often) versus the superior (if, sadly, only technologically) FireWire and ostensibly ThunderBolt (haven't tested TB yet myself). Having a TB adapter would be more palatable, but there are a NUMBER of issues that having an adapter changing from one data format to another, before going through another translation to get to the heart of the machine is problematic. One of the key benefits when I was able to chuck the crap Dell laptop that I had for a 17" MBP was that my Gigabit Ethernet actually could do a gigabit's worth of throughput. The Dell's crapped out around 430mbit.
To me, were I imagining an ideal device
1) Drop ODD ONLY if a proper TB or (God Forbid) USB drive could be used to view a movie. Many USB CD drives I've used on my home theater Mac Mini work great for data but won't show a DVD movie
2) GigE and FireWire should stay. Or, TB can replace FireWire if TB can be used in TDD mode and (ideally) a TB <-> FireWire adapter can be had. As the IT guy, Target Mode has saved many a system from HDD death.
3) Why SSD or Spinning drive only? Hybrid SSD + Spinning drive. 1TB + 128GB SSD in 9mm thick drive would give the best of both worlds. Perhaps a bit of smarts to let it know what to store and where... But, as a person who keeps over 500GB worth of virtual machines on my laptop (ready for a number of testing scenarios), going to a small SSD would be killer for me.
4) Dear God, please let us few who like it still have an option at least of a matte screen. I snagged a 17", 2.8GHz with a matte screen and thank my lucky stars every time I have to work on a glossy or even look to my secondary screen (A 27" Core i7 Quad iMac via mDP) that I don't have to do that every day.
5) WiFi, 802.11ac as an addition 802.11n backstopping with a 3x3 or 4x4 diversity antenna system would pair really well with a AirPort Pro or TimeCapsule Pro. Hint hint. More antennas also allows for the beamforming and steering portions of multi-diversity WiFi systems to deliver data more reliably.
6) Whole Screen AirPlay out. Neat feature and could easily help to eliminate problems with projectors and dongles and could sell the hell our of current AppleTV devices, and be a nice play for a home Apple television. Not a big fan of congesting the WiFi airwaves anymore than they are, but properly done, it could be.
7) Retina display. Lofty but who wouldn't want a 4k display. Not to mention, I'd get a second one and probably start looking for ways to drive it in a home made projector.
8) Get rid of third USB port on laptop. Hell, maybe even second too. I've used two at a time max on my 17" MBP. I'm sure there are some using all three at once, but really, rare is the set of USB keys and USB cords that can all fit at the same time. Unpowered USB hub would work, and since timing/latency critical anything should never go over USB, it wouldn't be terrible for USB as a whole.
9) Cellular/GPS/LTE optional. I probably wouldn't get it myself, but I know some ballyhoo over it. Personally, Hotspot sharing over the iPhone works great for me...