... and I still cannot get a Lightning version of some Apple attachments for my year old iPad..
Is that not Apple being naughty, naughty ? They're selling Lightning adapters for an exorbitant amount, thus the somewhat laggardly and lackadaisical attitude.
Original spec Thunderbolt peripheries are not exactly commonplace or cheap ... so being able to affordably/easily add stuff is a major concern as Thunderbolt 1 items are still obscure/pricey.
Yes, you're correct. Nevertheless, Lightning is an interface, controlled by Intel, here to stay and probably the way forward - at least for the forseeable future. I suspect that much of this delay is down to Intel (as are the excessive prices). I took the road some time ago of separating hard drives from the computer enclosure, so I'm not personally fazed by this perceived limitation of the new mac. I think it's an advantage but fully understand why others may feel differently about it.
New technology is constantly being hobbled (similar strategy to bcooters comments on the new Sony A7's) purely for the financial benefit of the 'majors'. Can't recall where I read it, but at the time USB3 was announced, one pundit wrote a convincing 'reprimand' on the basis that improved USB3 speeds - great, but why weren't the new drives enabled with 802.11n wireless networking ability? apparently the technology is there but Intel were reluctant.
I suspect Apple have seen the way forward but in the meantime you and I have to pay the penalty, as you so aptly put it.
The Sumtomo press release was released last year, Dec-2012. I haven't followed it all since. t I'm sure the prices will be exorbitant, but the ability to have the freedom to place hard drives (and other peripherals) up to 30M away is appealing and all with a single cable ... Just pop a tranquilliser before you ask about the price!