Today, there is a much higher probability that 'the shot' will be very much in focus, even if it means a quick point and shoot to get the shot. Shortening the travel of the AF movement increases speed of the focusing - The manufacturers don't give a crap about some film user who expects micrometer focussing...actually, they are not trying to sell lenses to you at all.
Like I have said in many different threads (& this thread)...these things are just tools that can be used by the photographers in the right instance. It is up to the photographer how to use these tools.
The thing that I personally dislike is those of the 'consumer' level of photography who get sucked into this whole 'Must be the fastest AF possible (DAMMIT) and I WILL upgrade to the latest and greatest in 12 months time when something faster comes along'.
Me, personally - I am not gonig to disagree with the fact that I have a much higher success rate shooting slow and static objects using my Manual Focus gear. A split screen is a God send for this. But, I also realise that AF has its place...and having AF that is firm ware upgradeable and fine tunable is another handy tool that is worth it.