Thanks Northwind, that's an interesting and thought provoking analysis. I guess it gives the lie to the idea that 650b is some sort of industry conspiracy. Why would they all get together and agree to do something that increases their cost and doesn't generate any new business? The whole wheelsize thing might be annoying for us consumers,but it sounds like a disaster for those who are trying to make money out of selling bikes.
Personally I've got a 29er HT and a 26" full suss and as I sit here nursing my broken arm, I'd just be happy to ride either of them.