Thank you for an informative and well written narrative! I speak for the silent majority I HOPE. Regardless of if I will buy tilt/shift lenses understanding the options is a plus. One can use the merging of images without the tilt/shift lens. Granted more aperture may be required, however current optics and post processing works very well.
I think the 4/3 system has grown in popularity to the point 3rd party lens manufactures can no longer ignore it. Oly in Japan is doing very well with the micro system. There is also a lack of fast micro 4/3 lenses and that leaves a gap for lens makers to enter the line with some lenses that do not exist today. IMO that is a rare opportunity. For example I would like to see a 14-40 f2.8, or 12mm f1.8.