Asus has faced a lot of criticism with their Eee line related to how they have become increasingly expensive. What was originally envisioned, sold and received as a very cheap solution with low powered hardware has turned into “netbooks” that are nearly as expensive as midrange laptops – and more expensive than bottom of the barrel laptops.
It seems they are realizing how out of touch they have become with that original focus and are talking a step backwards. The 901 has reached a $500 price point, coupled with the 1.6GHz Atom and a gig of ram. That's still a leap from the around $300 tag Asus was originally known for, one that made them look quite good at the time.
It's obvious the Eee line has grown far beyond the simple “cheap laptop” market that they started off in, but I hope Asus will dedicate at least a portion of their hardware lineup to ultra-cheap hardware.