re: conspiracy theories, Well to be fair, they have admitted the form factor was indeed a mistake. A hasty change was made to make "this weeks" PCB run deadline. Stuff happens, I'm real glad there is an arduino, and that the people felt compelled to get it out the door. it has opened a door into microprocessors for so many.
Though I do see things like the Nano redefining the form factor though, so change is possible.