No, the $25,000 will come from taxpayers, because these people are too big to fail (to collect their bonuses).
I completely agree. I had to use a ThinkPad once, years ago, as a substitute machine, so I experimented with the TrackPoint pointer. I didn't like it at all, and I wouldn't have bought a ThinkPad for myself, but I like to try new things as long as I'm not forced to continue. It took several days of constant use to get used to it, but after I did, I was hooked. I got my own ThinkPad, cranked the sensitivity and acceleration up to the max values, and trained myself to use it. At first it was like my first time on ice skates, but these days, I can rocket the mouse cursor around the screen and stop right where I want just by wanting it to be there, with my fingers still on the keyboard. At that level of sensitivity, and after a lot of practice, you just think about where you want the mouse pointer to be, and it's there. It's just an imperceptible, unconscious twitch or slight pressure. And with my fingers in the home position on the keys/mouse pointer, my thumbs can reach three mouse buttons by merely bending them at the middle thumb joint. Again, just the tiniest twitches combine keys, mouse pointer, and three mouse buttons.
Now, when I'm forced to use a scratchpad, forced to lift my hands off the keyboard and go scratch like a cat in a litterbox to get the mouse to move--jerk, jerk, jerk, slide into place--I feel like I've put down my Nikon to take a picture with a one-button camera. It's unbelievably primitive in comparison. It's not that I can't scratch on a scratchpad--I did it for years and still do when I have to use someone else's machine. Any nitwit can learn to scratch in a few seconds, but for those of us who use computers seriously enough to put time into learning keyboard shortcuts, command line interfaces, scripting for automation, and multiple button / twitch control hardware, nitwit scratchpads don't cut it.
We need that option on netbooks.
Market economy? Yes, indeed. Now that millions of folks like me use tech like TiVo to skip the ads, ad revenues are dropping, they need to reach wider (and less tech savvy) audiences to compensate, and presto: we have what they warned we would have. So we move on to more intelligent programming, meaning "what are the smart podcasts on the Internet?", TV viewership drops, Internet use booms, ad revenues on the Internet boom, Google booms, we all get ad blockers for our browsers and complain that our favorite websites are getting dumber (because I deserve high-quality, smart programming for free!), rinse and repeat....
We keep evolving ad resistance, starving ad-sponsored programming, and the environment keeps trying to evolve better ads.
Fortunately, there's vastly more room in the state space on the Internet than the hundred or so slots on TV, and much lower cost of entry, so we'll probably get a lot of good stuff, but we can't count on its stability. We're still pretty early in the process of evolving business models in this environment.