A few thoughts about the product and market since I am (sort of) in the target market:
Thanks for the insightful thoughts.
Concerning the sensor size my argument was not sensor cast, but simply that you get more shift relative to image size. Shifting 15mm with a 48x36mm sensor is would require 17mm on 54x41mm, but you can't do that since the image circle is still 90mm. Of course you could crop and get the exact same image, but the thing is that a 54x41mm sensor is a lot more expensive than 48x36mm, so there's a strong argument to keep the sensor size well-balanced, ie no larger than we need. In a well-balanced system you're using all of the high quality image circle when you do the movements you need for your compositions. DSLR tilt-shift lenses typically have ~65-70mm image circle for wides, which translates into 91-98mm for a 48x36mm sensor, and from my own experience I think 90mm is quite nice balance, not overkill, and rarely limiting.
One could make a target tech cam product for the Rodenstock Digaron-S lenses (70mm image circle), as small as 36x24mm feels quite ok on that size, although 34x25.4mm would be better so we get 4:3 format
. I believe more in a 48x36mm sensor size with 90mm image circles though so it becomes okay on GG cameras and we get more lenses to choose from.
Concerning live view it was the other way around, I tried to play down its importance
. If it is truly really important for the success of this type of product we are in trouble, because CMOS technology is not in MF yet.
CMOS would be nice, but I don't think it will be essential. It shall be interesting to see what happens on the second hand market if CMOS backs with liveview and high ISO (almost) like DSLRs start to get introduced.
I have a Canon system too. Previously I shot my landscapes with that. Now when I have my Linhof I only use my Canon for the other genres like portraits, sports, documentary. Now when my Aptus back is having the cold I thought I would go out shoot landscapes with my Canon instead, but well, I have just stopped shooting. I've fallen hopelessy in love with the tech cam workflow so it feels kind of meaningsless getting out shooting if I can't tilt
However, what will happen if I get the new rumoured 46 megapixel Canon, the performance with the TS-E's are greater than expected, and Canon brings out updates for the TS-E 45 and 90 (rumoured). If I would feel that my tech cam system doesn't really keep up on the image quality, and it is financially impossible for me to upgrade, then it may be time for me to sell off my MF gear and go back to DSLR landscape shooting.
I have a difficult time accepting using a system just because I like the feel of it, if I feel it produces inferior results, even if that "inferior result" is perfectly good. It's probably some sort of diagnosis, but I think I share it with many...
As discussed in the original post I think though that it could be possible to strike a balance and make an MFDB product that is good enough compared to the DSLR competition and has a low enough price to be an attractive alternative to a much wider audience.