you can get a serial-ata to parallel-ata dongle, they exist and shouldnt be too expensive, though im not sure where you can buy them seperately yet. so no, its not a pointless feature, just have to get that dongle for now or just wait for serial-ata drives.
Bummer. Too bad they didn't figure a way around that limitation. Hmmm... Wonder if hard drives will be sata and CD ROM & DVD drives will continue to be IDE? Or will they go SATA, too? I've not seen anything about sata cd's and dvd drives yet.