Love the A380
"carriers (well most of them) want to operate smaller aircraft more frequently. gone are the days of one flight per day to popular destinations"
I'm not so sure about that.
Here's a shot of the departures board in Auckland airport last Saturday while I was waiting to board EK413: https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Ci4oS5CUUAAOQU3.jpg
Not one, but three A380 flights departing from the same far-flung small city to Dubai within a 45 minute period, one each via Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane.
My flight was, I guess, about 90% - 95% full on both the Auckland to Sydney and Sydney to Dubai legs.
I don't dispute that the A380 is ugly, but there is nothing else that I'd be prepared to spend a total of about 18 hours in. The economy class seats are the biggest and most comfortable in the sky. The competitors (and alternative Emirates flights too) B777s have the most cramped seats in the sky -- Boeing designed it for 3-3-3 seating but the airlines forced them to squeeze in 3-4-3. As a result, 777 seating is WORSE than what you have in B737 or A320 for puddle jumper flights.
Note: I haven't yet encountered a B787. I believe the environmental conditions are similar to the A380 -- quieter, slower decompresion and recompression, and higher humidity than previous planes. I don't know about the seats.