Re: Close but no cigar .....
1. Additional cost is more relevant on devices aimed at the price-conscious end of the market. For a device like this where the price is already high enough to push it more into the "don't give a crap how much it costs, just remind me what it can do" end of the market, omitting a feature present on several of its rivals may cause it to be dismissed.
2. Gobs of internal storage is great, but you do need to be damn careful with your data backup strategy to avoid losing it all when (not if) something causes you to lose the ability to read from the internal storage. At times like that, you really appreciate the ability to simply pop out the SD card from your non-responsive device and access its data via any other SD-capable device instead...
So I'd prefer to have the right balance of enough internal memory to cope with 3-4 yearsworth of OS updates, app installs/upgrades, log files, caches etc, PLUS the option of using a SD card to cope with stuff I'd want to be able to easily recover (photos, documents etc.) in the event of a device error.
Also, for a device like this with a large screen and decent audio capabilities, some people may want to use it to view media generated on SD cards by other devices (e.g. dashcams) rather than relying on the less capable UI provided by those devices.
3. I already carry around a perfectly decent set of Sennheiser wired earbuds, which I can use directly with my work PC, my home PC, my iPod and my current phone. Having just shelled out *HOW MUCH* on a new handset, I really wouldn't feel too happy about then having to shell out even more on a USB/3.5mm adapter or something BT-enabled just to be compatible with this one device.
At some point in the future (near or far I wouldn't like to say, just somewhere out there) the critical mass of wireless head/earphones will be high enough to make the 3.5mm socket an irrelevance for most people, but right now I guarantee you that most handset/phablet owners will NOT also own wireless head/earphones, but WILL own at least one set of perfectly useable wired phones, and in many cases would very much like to continue using them with their new devices.