If battery life is really important to you the Pro probably isn't your best bet. About 5 hours is pretty accurate. Maybe after the hardware refresh, whenever that is, but the battery life pays for the form factor and power of the processor inside.
As for Windows 8, I don't think I'd like my Pro if it didn't have 8... the desktop side is just really poor at touch. When I'm at a desk and have a mouse? Awesome, I can go into full desktop mode, but anywhere else I'd prefer a Metro app. Hell, I went back to using IE instead of Chrome (when I'm not using a mouse, anyway) because Chrome's metro UI is absolutely abhorrent (it's just a copy of the desktop UI, which hates my fingers).
Can't say I've used it in sunlight so I don't have much to add there.