Having discovered the Robots Podcast, and its associated website, I no longer feel such a need to continue posting here. I have made my point as well as I can expect to in words alone. If I am to continue to exert effort towards the vision outlined here, it should be directed towards the development of hardware and/or software.
That's not to say that I'm closing this blog or will never post here again, but it can no longer be the central focus of my efforts with regard to robotics, and any further posts are likely to be mere pointers to something interesting elsewhere, without much in the way of new content.
It's a "brave new world" out there, with many encouraging (and a few worrisome) things happening. Check out the Robots Podcast website and get started with bringing yourself up to speed with what's happening in the field.