Re: Surface not for me
Unfortunate but interesting that your friends have had such bad luck with their iPads. I've definitely seen iPhones slow to a crawl after a few years, but in my experience, iPads have fared a bit better. Refresh rates suggest people replace iPads on more PC-like (rather than smartphone-like) cycles. But your point remains: Some people get 5+ years of productive life out of their PCs, and it remains to be seen if tablets and hybrids provide the some long-term value. Some people are still running XP on 10-year-old computers. I'll be surprised if a similar numer of iPad Airs are still in use a decade from now. With tablets and hybrids, whatever you gain in portability and sleek aesthetics, you lose in DIY repairability and upgradability.
OneDrive provides a little relief for the storage concerns you cite, though I'll concede that the cloud is a limited solution. If you end up needing external storage, that lone USB port gets a little limiting. You could go for the Surface Docking Station, of course, which gives you more flexibility for peripherals. Microsoft is building a modular ecosystem around the Surface Pro, with the tablet as the starting point, then the keyboards, then the docking station. They've done a decent job so far providing backward compatibility, meaning if you upgrade the tablet every two or three years, you could still have a three-in-one set-up with replacing all your accessories. But as I alluded in the article, this sort of hybrid approach is both empowering and limiting, depending on your needs.
I think the Surface Pro 3 will be the most successful Surface Pro to date, and that it will become very popular in certain industries. It's a very nice laptop, but it's most interesting for its uniqueness. You can do things with it you couldn't do with earlier Surfaces. Whether you want to do those things is a different matter. Some people – a lot, I think - will. But many people will ultimately prefer clamshell laptops, or iPads, or whatever—so lots of those devices are going to continue to get sold too.