Netbooks did not come out of nowhere - they were a response to the problem of small cheap computers. Notebooks had become so expensive that they were too valuable to risk using in public. People had to buy an extra license to have the same software on their notbook as their desk top and they needed an expensive power hungry CPU to run it.
OLPC demonstrated that a useful computer could be sold for $200, and that people would buy them even if you made them jump through hoops to get them. They also demonstrated that the biggest profit centre for laptop distributors (proprietary software) could be entirely replaced with reliable free software.
Manufacturers were dragged kicking and screaming onto the small cheap computer bandwagon (each afraid that the others would get there first). Distributors refused to sell the Linux versions because they would not be able to shift profitable MS Office and crapware with Linux machines. Even so, small cheap computers sold because people would jump through hoops to get them and efficient distributors entered the computer market.
The term "small cheap computer" has been replaced with Netbook just like "Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disk drives" changed to "Redundant Array of Independent Disk drives". Removing the word "cheap" allowed prices to rise to the point where people will not risk using a Netbook in public. Manufacturers and distributors hope this will stifle sales to the point where they can claim Netbooks were fad people experimented with during a recession.
Perhaps they are right, and they can go back to their traditional segmented market. The next bump on the road map is the work AMD has done for ARM and MIPS CPU's. Investigations into how Intel kept AMD out of the market are starting to reach conclusions. If the regulators prevent Intel's anticompetitive behaviour, AMD will not be the only company to benefit. ARM laptops will not mysteriously disappear after a quick demonstration at a trade show.
The time has come for a new marketing name. I propose "laptop" for a silent computer that will not catch fire if you use it on your lap, uses a non-x86 CPU to keep the cost low and battery life high and has a pixel qi screen so you can read in sunlight. (Pixel Qi was started by the people who made the low cost daylight-readable display for OLPC's XO.)