IMHO, in the long run it's not worth it because of it's limited upgradeability. Plus, the cost of repair is more expensive when your warranty expires since most of the basic components are soldered on to the logic board. The main selling point of the Macbook Air is it's small size which makes it great for travelers. I think the Macbook Air's base model are too expensive for what you get. But, it would depend on which model you plan on getting.
I'm a techie so if I can't upgrade the most basic component of a computer then it's not worth it to me.
Your last sentence probably makes the MBA unsuitable for your consideration because the RAM is not upgradeable and the SSD uses a proprietary connector which limits your choices should you want to upgrade it (and increases the cost). The MBP offers the same portability with better graphics performance (it has a discrete video card rather than Intel integrated video), and its RAM and drive can be upgraded.
I have an early 2009 MBA which I've upgraded to 8GB and added an SSD to. Except for when I'm traveling, it is my professional workhorse and I can easily believe I'll get at least another 2 years of use from it. Because the MBA cannot be upgraded like the MBP can, I'm completely unwilling to estimate how long I might keep one. OTOH, I tend to resell my notebooks after 2 years and get a very good resale value from them.
Well, darn both of you to heck. You convinced me to spend more money to go with a MBP. However, I convinced myself to splurge on a Retina display model. You only live once, right? Actually it was the flash storage that tipped the decision. Looks like I'll get the basic 13" 128GB config later today at the local Apple store. As I'm not a gamer or doing video editing the integrated Intel video should suffice. After over four years I've only used about half of my old Mini's 120 gig HD so I think it'll be enough even if I dual boot Windows. I'll check on that though.
Thanks dwb. I though again about the upgradeability issue but still went with the MVP Retina. Reasons:
The 8 gigs of RAM should more than suffice for any foreseeable use at home. My professional heavy lifting is done at the office, which is all Windows.
I have only used about 60 gigs of my old Mini HD in all this time. If by chance I fill the 128 gig SAD, external portable HDs are cheap. An external SSDs may come down in price by then.
Also, technolust played a part.
The responses here did make me think seriously about my final choice. Thanks to all.