I think you pretty much nailed it and answered your own questions at the same time.
Let's face it, the vast majority of the hiking community just goes to REI or whatever outdoor store they have next to them and buy whatever is on the shelf. Its the BPL/WB/etc folks that 'tinker' and keep the cottage industries going.
Ron Moak from SMD (and others) have said it well so many times... BPL is not where their business comes from so why design for the BPL crowd.
I am not really sure where the idea for the MiniMo came from (would be interesting to know) but I suspect it all came down to this new regulator they are using. It does such an amazing job that somebody there probably realized they could start making a Jetboil actual be useful for cooking in, and thereby realized making it shorter would be a good idea.
Yesterday I burnt my first meal in my MiniMo. Have burned through almost 2000g of fuel (20 canisters) and this is the first meal I burt. Not just boiling water but actually cooking meals inside of it, as mentioned above. I had some refried beans that I guess I did not get stirred and it burnt about a quarter size on the bottom.
Here is something that I had not thought about before I bought the MiniMo, but has become very apparent to me and is going to need some further testing... as my own testing has shown and as testing of a lot of others here at BPL have shown, most of us have been getting between 19 and 22 uses out of a canister of fuel with the Sol versions of the JetBoil. Because of this new simmer capable regulator all that has pretty much gone to hell in a handbasket, it seems. I did not even start thinking about it until a few canisters ago, but I began to realize that some canisters were not lasting long as the others. In my next set of ten canisters I will start to record how many meals I make per canister and attempt to document what was cooked, how how or low the simmer was and so forth. See if it is just something I am thinking is happening and is not, or if it really is an issue - and therefore will force MiniMo users to no longer use the 'average 20 boils per canister' rule we have used for years.