Jesus Christ, Eugene, lighten the **** up! Is it really worth getting that worked up over? You're damn near as bad as HOM... Is price the only factor that matters with differentiating lines? I really don't think so.
Besides, you missed the point-- if Apple is so damn concerned about lines not overlapping, don't you think they would have dropped the 12" Powerbook when the iBook went to the G4? Is there really that much differentiation between the two lines? Not really-- but Apple doesn't seem too concerned about it... That is, unless the 12" Powerbook gets dropped in a couple of months. Do you think that'll happen? I doubt it. I think all of the laptop models sell enough to justify the existence of every damn one of them-- never mind the fact that there's precious little to distinguish between a 12" iBook & 12" Powerbook. Why couldn't the same thing apply to a cheap, small, headless box? Arguably, it'd have more differentiation from the iMac & Powermac than the iBooks do from the Powerbooks.
(Who was it that said a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds?)
Apple's been keeping steady in sales ~800,000 units per quarter while their total marketshare slowly dwindles. There's no reason to dilute this number by offering more computers with even smaller differences between them in both price and specs.
Right, their market share dwindles because they don't have machines with competitive price/performance ratios (except for the Powermac G5s). Do you think that'll be the case when the G5 gets rolled out across the line? We've already seen a pretty hefty boost in Powermac sales because of the G5. Won't the same thing happen with the iMacs & eMacs? Won't there then be room for some overlap, like there is with the laptops?