No micro sd card slot is a disaster for me. My music collection is over 40gb, games are often up to a gb each, my European maps are about 2gb and I like to have a few films or tv shows on board to kill time too. With a more powerful phone I'm going to want have hi-def films on board so I can stream to my tv (or to a friend's tv). I also have loads of photos from holidays and stuff which I like to keep on my memory card. Not only do I want a micro sd card slot, I want new devices to support micro sdxc for MUCH greater storage capacities and faster transfer speeds.
The cloud has its place for me, but I don't want to be left looking like a chump when I can't access a photo or song because there is either a slow or non-existent data connection. What about when my phone has to be on flight mode? Why would I want to eat into my data allowance to stream a song that could so easily be on a memory card? Streaming stuff to my phone uses noticeably more battery too.
Manufacturers want us to have fixed storage so we have to upgrade our handsets as our storage needs grow. They also realise that people are prepared to splash the cash on larger memory cards so they figure they would rather put that memory in the phone and take the extra money from us instead of letting that cash go to a card manufacturer. Finally, networks want us to store our stuff in the cloud because sooner or later we will go over our data allowances and they will make a killing in extra charges.....the next time we get a contract we'll all go for more expensive plans with a better allowance. They're not worried about the unnecessary data slowing down our mobile networks because they'll just throttle connection speeds accordingly.
Choice is good. 'Light' users won't mind a lack of SD card slot, but those of us who truly use our devices for media storage, communication, photography, sat nav and increasingly as a dockable pc replacement are really gutted. Windows mobile used to be able to connect in two ways, so there's no reason why our current devices can't pull the same trick.