Now, of course, there’s a sizable contingent of users who want Pro features at consumer prices, and want Apple’s designers to produce such a miracle every time. These “prosumers” are also prone to think that the “real” Macs are the high-end ones, but that Apple then maliciously cuts features from them to produce the low-end machines; call it the conspiracy theory of hardware design.
While I can’t say with certainty that this never happened in the past (remember the Performa days?), it’s very unlikely in this specific case; the MacBook is not a crippled MacBook Pro. Indeed, indications are that, surprise, the MacBook Pro is really an expanded MacBook.