Among all the hype for the wafer thin object of desire, the Apple Air, I have maintained perspective. While my Mac-oriented friends swoon and drool, I did the proper geeky thing and focused on the key question "What do you actually get for your money?" The design is superb of course, and that has value in itself, but for USD 1800, you're effectively getting low-spec hardware and a machine that's missing a few useful features.
I personally use a DVD RW for backing up files when I don't have access to a portable hard disk, or when I want a more permanent archive. I also install a lot of software, and alternative OSes, so I use it for that too. And not to mention the DVDs I play on it, so I'd definitely miss having an optical drive. However I do understand that the main reason for axing the optical drive is to keep the unit slim, so I can see why they excluded it. However, putting on a few more USB ports might have been a good idea, so you can plug in an external one along with your mouse.