I would also like to add the fact that Apple now offers it’s keyboard w/o a numeric keypad standard with it’s iMac computers, and I think it’s quite unnecessary. No one complained before about the numeric keypad.
I’d hate to see them completely disappear, but having the option to go without it has a big ergonomic gain, assuming you didn’t use it very often: the keyboard can be a lot narrower, so (assuming you’re right-handed) you can put the mouse much closer to the center of your ergonomic reach.
This has huge benefits for RSI reduction, comfort, and speed.
If Microsoft made a version of my preferred
boat keyboard (Natural Ergonomic 4000) without the numeric-keypad area, I’d get it in a second.