Could this be USB2 vs FW400/800 all over again? While thunderbolt sounds impressive, and seems able to run other I/O connections - like USB3 - with the proper adaptors, USB3 seems to have a head start, and zero impact on cost. This weekend I dropped-in to my local discount computer shop and the nearby Costco. I noticed USB3 hard-drives everywhere, and at essentially the same price as their USB2 drives. Customers seemed aware that the USB3 drives were faster, backwards compatible, and "furure proof". FW was virtually gone. Just a couple of pricier cases at the discount shop (nothing at Costco) and nobody looking for/at it.
Thunderbolt offers unprecedented speed, I/O flexibility, and Intel support, but there are no devices, nor, at the moment, any really unique, headline grabbing, implementations. Video/Audio and imaging might jump on it for both its bandwidth and flexibility and the ability to connect some legacy equipment via adaptor. Uses that sound less ubiquitous and more specialized. Of course, USB3 can also be added via adaptor, but then there's no reason for the peripheral makers to adopt Thunderbolt
USB3 already seems solidly perched to become the convenience connector. Good enough for what most people want - fast storage on a ubiquitous connection. How long before Intel simply adds it to their motherboards and Apple soon after?