This is a bit of a rhetorical question, I suppose.
These frames couldn't be more different, couldn't be more the same. Victims of parallel evolution. The first one is made by a small company in Texas, features seatstay brakes, comes in 20.5/20.75/21, weighs five pounds:
The second one here is made by (or at least for) a small company in Scotland, features seatstay brakes (the frame pictured is a prototype), built-in seatpost clamp, comes in 20.5/20.8/21/21.2, weighs 4.9 pounds (although the production model may weigh less than that) I was entertained by them being "so happy with how it handles" since it's just another 74.5/71/13.75" frame. Um, so, like nearly every other frame on the market?:
Like Axl says, where do we go now?
Weight has been the main selling factor for frames for years, all that's been driven into our collective heads is "lighter is better, lighter is better." Well, how much lighter can we go? Toptubes can only be dropped so low, tubing can only be butted so much, dropouts can only be made so small and so thin. (Have you seen the dropouts on the Eddie Cleveland frame?) And drilling holes is—or at least should be—out of the question.
So, what's next? Will most frames be like skateboard decks, differing only in colors and graphics? Will removable mounts and guides become the norm? Will weight always be the deciding factor? Are companies using butted seatstays yet?
Just some stuff to think about.
P.S. Sorry so late today. Damn Fridays.
EDIT: Please do not take this as a plea to go back to 1998. I'm not interested in a return to eight-pound frames and triple walls. However, it was cool when you could recognize a frame from a block away—whether it was because of something as major as the Kink Revision B's multiple piercings or something as minor as the classic Standard gusset. Oh well, at least we still have Sunday.