I agree with you about seeing more netbooks and fewer macs, but while your reasoning may be true for the hipster crowd that doesn't actually use the laptop to any capacity, I have another possible explanation.
Speaking as a graduate student who still has a G4 Powerbook, I've loved it but honestly in the past 2 years I've been looking to replace it with something that can actually stream flash videos and show a block of animated gif smilies on a forum reply page without being choppy or using full CPU. Since I also have a windows desktop to do my real engineering work on, I want a smaller laptop that is easy to carry around and fits in my backpack. My first choice would be a 13" Macbook Pro, but Apple seems to have left that one useful model on the short bus and gave it a Core 2 Duo while the other pros in the line have decent current-generation chips. I've talked to other friends about it and I know at least 2 other people that would go out and buy a 13" within the next month if only it had a better processor.
So that leaves me with getting a netbook or a 'hackintosh', since if I can't have OS X on the laptop then I might as well have something tiny and cheap. (Maybe it's just me, but OS X is a lot more usable with only the keyboard than any other OS I've seen, one reasons I want to use an Apple laptop)
It may not be a big factor, but Apple is losing people because they can't compete in the small laptop market, or at least those of us who want a real keyboard, hard drive, CD drive, and real ports. I have no use for a SSD in a laptop, because I know how to not drop it while I'm using it, and the speed increase doesn't matter when you're just doing research and writing papers. As much as he may want it to be, the iPad is in no way a replacement for a small laptop for anyone who does any amount of text input like writing code or writing papers.