Wedding and event videos fall squarely in this category. No bride will be okay with spending $1,500 for a Vimeo link.
And a bride can't use a USB drive (which hold much more than a DVD and can be copies far easier)? If the requirement is that they must have a DVD, a Pro can get a USB/Firewire/TB one.
Just because we don't burn mix CDs anymore or use them for backup devices doesn't mean that the optical drive is dead. It's a niche, but it's not dead.
I never said that there was absolutely ZERO need to use discs. I said most people don't use them these days including pros. So why include it? I saw MBs with printer ports more than a decade after you could buy a printer than needed that port. Also lots of them have PS/2 connectors still.
For Pros that do need a burner tend to use more professional ones than you can get in a computer. Dedicated duplicators are more common with pros than a computer burner.
...and Apple was rather widely panned for doing so at the time. This was in large part due to the dearth of an alternative storage medium being included - you were either getting files around with a 56K modem, a USB ZIP drive, a USB Floppy drive, or VERY expensive 16MB flash drives that, in many cases, had slower write speeds than actual floppy disks. Floppies were passe, no doubt, but Apple should have been putting CD-RW drives in the iMac long before they actually did.
I don't know when you were around computers but Apple removed the floppy with the first iMac. And it had a CD-ROM as most other computers. It was years before CD-RWs much less blank discs were affordable. USB sticks were then becoming the standard for replacing floppies. Maybe on PC they lagged behind for years as it took PC manufacturers a while to embrace USB.
You also need storage space. HD video, art assets, high resolution multitrack audio projects, and CAD drawings aren't exactly compact forms of data, y'know.
And what stops you from using an expandable RAID network drive from a Mac Pro? Nothing. The problem with using the computer as the storage space is that you will constantly run out of physical space quickly.. And it does not lend itself for collaboration well.
That's a rather broad brush to paint with, especially since disk I/O over the LAN starts hitting a ceiling pretty quick. This would be easier to swallow if there were a PCI Express slot to add a 10GigE/Fiber/Infiniband card, but they did away with that, too.
That's why you don't run the files from the network. You bring them to your machine and use the PCIe SSDs as your workspace which is many times faster. Then you check them back into the network. Just like code. As for PCIe slot, Thunderbolt encompasses PCIe and USB and video.
That number is so small that there's an insignificant market for storage devices that can connect to them, right?
I assume by this statement you missed the point completely. I never said that no Pro ever needs storage. I said that for Pros (like a Pixar animator), they don't archive their work files on their personal workstations. They check out a file, bring onto their machines, then check it back in when they are done.
And it makes more sense for Apple to make them an online-only product rather than waste shelf space on them in the store, right?
I also never said that online was the only option. That is your lack of understanding. I said "network" meaning corporate or local network. Many companies invest in things like RAID servers. And individuals can buy smaller versions of these.