I think the approach derives from standard HD test methodology. I do agree that your point is well-taken, and that such tests don't necessarily reflect the real value of an SSD to a notebook user. But it does make sense to compare how SSDs perform vis-a-vis conventional HDs in the conventional framework, even if it doesn't tell the whole story.
I've been using an SSD in my Dell Latitude 620 notebook for about two months full-time now, and I agree the real benefits come more from things other than sustained read/write speed numbers. How about a 30-second boot into the Vista desktop, a one hour increase in battery life while doing standard productivity, three or four ounces less weight, and lower heat output?
I do get it. Check out my recent Viztaview article "Solid State Drives Benefit Notebook PCs" at http://www.viztaview.com/index.php/Hardware/solid-state-drives.html.
Thanks for posting,