Regarding the SATA port: I think he was referring to the M.2 slot pulling its PCIe lanes from the CPU rather than from the chipset. The benefit is that you get PCIe 3.0 speeds from the CPU (the Z97 chipset is still limited to 8 PCIe 2.0 lanes) and lower latency access to the drive. The downside is that it limits the physical PCIe 16x slot to PCIe 8x speeds when a M.2 drive is installed. It shouldn't effect graphics card performance but still seems like an odd compromise for an ROG-class product.The sata port placement is actually the only logical position on this small form factor board.
Prices are not going to be around $210. According to a polish website, it says that this board will run you dry 1725 chinese yuan, or $280.00 USD.
Based off rog.asus.com, this board's availability is going to be 1-2 weeks for order. since the time of my review.
Sources: http://pclab.pl/news59108.html, Expreview (Search maximus vii impact)