It seems people are still liking the new MacBook Airs. This post from The Brooks Review reflects my feelings overall, meaning I use the Air more than I even thought I would and am surprised at how much I can do comfortably on it. I have the smaller 11-inch Air, and I STILL generally go to it rather than my iMac for day-to-day stuff ("day-to-day stuff" meaning anything but photo editing and syncing my myriad devices, the reason for both being that my iMac houses all my media libraries). Through, evidently, black magic, the screen doesn't seem too small. Because it's so wide, I can even open all the panes I want on Scrivener and don't feel tortured. I do keep the dock on the side to give myself more vertical space.
The main reason I think I default to the Air is the speed. How spoiled do you have to be to resent even the slightest delay with starting applications? I'm that spoiled. I don't want to sit there waiting for my computer to do anything. And with the Air, I never do.
I haven't needed an optical drive even one time, I have yet to attempt something that caused it to choke, I haven't had space issues yet, and never having had a back-lit keyboard I am not pining for one. Since day 1, I have been using Dropbox selective sync, and that probably is the key in making Air use painless; without it, I would have to mess around with syncing files, and having two Macs would be a Hassle. I don't do Hassles well. And selective sync removes space issues. I don't need every single bit of my stored paperless office on the Air.
It's surprised me how little I actually need on a computer from day to day. I can do nearly everything with a browser, Evernote, and Scrivener (and Dropbox, of course). Media storage, I predict, is going to become the sticking point in the "smaller, lighter" trend in computing. My iTunes and iPhoto libraries are truly obese.
Finally, of course, it's frakking convenient to slip the Air into my bag (everyone should have an Osprey bag, I'm now convinced...it could be a murse if necessary), barely notice the increase in weight, and know I can drink a LOT of coffee before the battery runs out. I haven't RUN the battery out yet because my attention span flags far before the battery does. I kid you not: several times I've unzipped the bag in a panic because it doesn't feel like the Air is even in there. That's partially because I carry way too much crap around with me all the time so I'm used to a heavy bag (you never KNOW when you will be stricken with a need to catch up on your nursing journal reading, do you? Do you?), but I guarantee that never happened with my white MacBook, with which I always had to carry cords and a power brick.
I'm sure I'll come up against some deal-breaking limitation, and I'll post bitterly about it when the time comes, but considering how picky I am and how long I've had this gadget, it's holding up pretty well under possible barrages of criticism for Stuff It Doesn't Do. If Apple wouldn't make it twice as expensive as other souped-up netbooks, I would go so far as to call it a must-have. And yes, I KNOW it's not officially a netbook, but for pete's sake, let's call a spade a spade and just admit this is the market the 11-inch Air is competing with, OK?