Since Thunderbolt connectivity is provided by the MBP's DisplayPort mini connector, the only difference between the 2011 model's port array and that of its predecessor is the tiny Thunderbolt logo. Otherwise the two machines look exactly the same.
Port array almost unchanged: now with Thunderbolt
And, yes, the 13in MBP still has a combined 3.5mm audio I/O jack, so you can't use headphones and a microphone at the same time, unless it's in the dongle on a pair of phone-oriented 'phones. Their controls will work too, though the Mac disconcertingly cuts the audio off if you sit listening to nothing for too long - presumably a power-conservation trick.
Just like the port array, the rest of the machine's casing remains unchanged. The changes here are internal: upping the processor from a two-core, two-thread 2.4GHz or 2.866GHz Core 2 Duo to the 2.3GHz Core i5-2410M or the 2.7GHz i7-2620M, skipping the generation of Intel mobile CPUs between them.
The i7, which I tested, has two cores, but the presence of HyperThreading makes it look like a quad-core CPU to Mac OS X - though it won't deliver full quad-core performance. The new i5 is the same two-core, four-thread architecture, but has 3MB of top-level cache to the i7's 4MB.
Both chips feature a Turbo mode clocking the frequency of a single core up to 2.9GHz (i5) or 3.4GHz (i7) if the chip can do so without over-heating. It can overclock both cores too, but the peak speed won't be as high.
Next page: By the numbers
In five years time you'll be able to connect a bluray drive via thunderbolt? Just a thought. Just like you could connect a USB bluray drive now, you know, if you wanted to. Apple's not banning you from having a bluray on this thing, it's just not throwing one in for you.
As for the storage they provide for 'non video' content being excellent, it's a very poor £/GB ratio compared to most USB hard drives, especially given you can effectively only access it in 25/50Gb chunks. And it's slower. And it burns more power, which is a significant issue in a laptop.
There are a number of scenarios where BluRay as a storage medium works. None of those also include a 13" laptop. I'd maybe like to see BR as an option on the 17" model but it's really nowhere near a worthwhile option on the 13" one. It would be a 'box tick' that would only provide a nice feature for marketing but very poor usability. That's not generally the game Apple play, so I don't really see why people have an expectation of it happening in this case.
Bluray isn't just for watching 1080p movies, the storage they provide is excellent. This thing has Thunderbolt so why not Bluray too? In 5 years, yeah you can plug in your Thunderbolt drive but try to access content on a Bluray and you're stuffed.
Could have a long wait
Given that Apple have just taken all of the storage out of the AppleTV, I seriously doubt you'll get you wish for that one.
I'm with you on the iPod Classic, but to be fair the reason why they haven't made a bigger one available is simple: Until recently no-one made a bigger capacity drive in the right form-factor.
There is a drive available now (Hitachi I think), so we might see a storage bump this year, but only to something like 220Gb.
Only other option would be to switch to custom SSD, but then you'd probably end up with a price tag of £700+, which could have an adverse effect on sales.