I broke down (it did not take much) and got a new 13" MacBook Air. It specs out almost identically to my year old 15" MB Pro, but at half the size. The clincher was that they had the extra hot version in stock at the store--processor bump and 4GB of RAM with the 256GB SSD. It will be replacing both my MB Pro and my iPad.
It is amazing how much lighter the Air is in my bag. Technically I probably save less than 3 pounds between the laptop and the power supply, but it feels like a lot. I am going to need to get a smaller bag, I guess, but now I seem to have tons of room.
I am using a Rapha backpack, which I highly recommend. Lots of storage in a slim profile. It is designed for commuting by bike, but I find that the slimness works equally well when wading through a thicket of people at a conference. I don't need to carry much. Laptop, charger, cards, checkbook, moleskin notebook and pen (having an analog backup is a good idea, and some people take offense when you pull out a laptop during a meeting), energy bar, iPhone charger, Clipper card, MiFi, Tylenol. I still have room for all the paper crap they give out at conferences, and to stash a lightweight jacket and inflatable lumbar pillow.
It boots up in about 15 seconds, 3x as fast as my MB Pro. The screen is smaller, but with the same number of pixels, so I don't really lose any screen real estate. That is important, as I work in multiple windows.
The MB Pro is now unloved. I have the last generation that had easy to swap hard drives. I am thinking about throwing an SSD in it, but they are still so expensive at retail, so I will probably just sell it. Between my iMac and the Air, it no longer has a place. When I got it, it was my only machine, and it served well for that. I got an iMac for more processor intensive activities and to have massive screen real estate (27" main screen plus a 20" next door--that is 5.6 million pixels). Now the laptop is only for when I am on the move, and the MB Air is plenty powerful, and super portable. In fact, it would be my choice as my only machine if I had to pick one. The only place it starts to choke is on multiple video streams, and I really never need to do that.
More later on iPad vs. Air.