Let me count backwards, towards the change that worries me most about Panther, six things Jaguar already does for me that you don't seem to have noticed.
6. Virtual desktops, thanks to third-party tools that let me use features Steve Jobs doesn't feel like I'm smart enough to take advantage of. Again, it's a matter of organization. Expose is like a lot of things in Mac OS, it's organized around *programs*. I work on *documents*, and put windows associated with each document or object I'm working on in the same virtual desktop. It never gets a chance to get cluttered.
5. Command tab is unobtrusive and effective. Little triangle indicator in the Dock? What are you talking about... the whole icon grays out and its name pops up. It's clear and obvious. Have you actually used command-tab lately?
4. It's UNIX, it handles things in the background without my needing to have desktop apps chewing up cycles on them over and over again. Threading in mail? I already get that, and it works in every app I use to read mail. How do I do that? UNIX, remember... I just fetch my mail and feed it to a local newsgroup, and read it with a newsreader. The only time I see Mail.app is when I'm replying.
3. PDF rendering is handled by the OS. I read PDF in Safari, thanks to yet another nifty third party app, and it's plenty fast. I just can't convince LaunchServices to let me *permanently* associate PDF with Safari... Steve Jobs doesn't seem to like it if you fiddle with the "This file isn't known to open in this app, so I'll gray it out" settings. But I never use Preview or Acrobat Reader, I don't see the point... the OS has PDF rendering built in, why do I need a special app for it?
2. Finder. It's not perfect, but it's a straightforward extension of the preactical Finder from OS 9, and it doesn't need redesign, just a bit of tweaking.
Finder isn't the center of my life, it's just a really useful tool I've been using effectively under OS 9 and OS X... and dramatically changing it into a Windows Explorer workalike is not something I'm looking forward to.
First, of course, it's in 'Metal'.
Second, where's the win? You write "Not having to go click-click-click to navigate a new Finder window from the boot disk to the home folder will save me thousands of clicks a year."
Hey, man, just drag your home folder into the dock. Old Finder is a tool you can use any way you want. New Finder looks more like a tool you have to use the way Steve Jobs wants. Well, Steve hasn't been exactly batting 1000 lately.
1. I like not having an integrated central HTML-and-HTTP tool in every program. I'm really worried about Webkit: I hope this isn't exactly what it sounds like, because this sounds like the disasterous Microsoft HTML Control, the source of 90% of the viruses and worms on Windows. If you have the same application displaying trusted and untrusted data, you're inevitably going to provide opportunities for the bad boys. I sincerely hope Webkit doesn't make the same mistake of having Webkit perform URL resolution instead of calling back to the application using it to do the job, or we're going to watch OS X fall into the same smelly creek Windows fell into in the '90s.