1) You might be willing to sacrifice battery life. They’re not. They want their most portable laptop to be as portable as possible. I’m personally looking forward to the day I can forget my charger at home and not worry about making it through the day.
2) You’re not addressing his point. This is the cheap model. Great features, great battery, cheap — pick two. If you’re “willing to sacrifice a bit of battery life time and a bit higher price” go retina (or just don’t buy Apple). And you can still get most of your stuff done as a student on a 1440×900 (gotta double check this) screen.
3) For its own benefit, apple tries to serve users the best it can — but only for its own benefit. They’re not going to ruin the pro line by nullifying one of its most distinctive qualities (a high resolution screen).
4) Don’t buy it then. There’s plenty of great alternatives out there. I’m not happy either so I’ll keep waiting.
A 1080p screen is more pixels to push, it’s not retina quality so they can’t do HiDPI on it and probably looks too small at native resolution for many users. I’d be ok with it, and I imagine you would be too, but it’s not made for us.
Apple has a clear vision of what the purpose of the Air is. They want portability (small size and huge battery life). If it doesn’t suit you, move on. Nobody is threatening you, pushing you to buy it or forcing “ideals” on you.
Gigabyte has a pretty nice ultrabook you might like.