Re: An already safe...
That's the wonder of Modern Marketing. By referring to this plane as a "737" people just assumed it was another sort of 737 instead of an entirely new plane. Boeing just piggybacks on the reputation of the long established workhorse instead of having to build from the ground up.
Why would I think of it as an entirely new aircraft? Its true that its roughly the size and capacity of the 737 that it replaces but its got a completely different main wing and flight control systems. The original 737 came from an era where planes were flown by people -- there were literally physical connections between the cockpit controls and the flight surfaces. These sorts of planes have to be inherently stable. The design isn't as efficient as we can make these days, though, so the temptation is to use a very high efficiency airfoil and make up the consequent loss of stability with avionics. This is a whole new game, though. (Disclaimer -- I'm not an aeronautical engineer although I do know quite a bit about sailplanes and their high efficiency airfoils; like most of us on this site I also know quite a bit about the pitfalls of software systems design, execution and testing.)
Boeing rushed the 787 into service without fully wringing out the bugs. This resulted in a six month grounding while problem of battery fires was brought under control (fortunately that didn't result in fatalities.) They need to figure one this out, and not just a quick "Hail Mary" patch. It probably won't do much harm to the company long term.