None of those show FW400 speeds, which this conversation seems to be dominated by. I'd like to see those results. If your argument is that making FW800 only a Pro feature to push people into MBPs over MBs, then I certainly see your point. That certainly is a shady, though strategic, marketing move.
I should have included this from the "Other Thoughts"
USB 2.0 speed has improved in the newer Intel Macs but its still "smoked" by both FireWire 800 and SATA interfaces. Even FireWire 400 beats it.
So Apple has, for the sake of design, chosen to default to the slowest connection available. The Mac Tech press has been asleep choosing to parrot the "USB is standard" lineup. Well if USB is standard and available on PCs in more abundance than Macs then woudn't that be one less thing to buy a Macintosh for?
Apple's in a precarious position here. Every Mac can run Windows..when it gets to the point thwere the Macintosh hardware is prohibitively expensive and OS X doesn't offer appreciable advantages over Vista/W7 you will easily have an exodus back to windows.
These lame Macbooks aren't going to impress the masses.