monkeyairplane brought up the best counterargument against my iPod predictions:
A $149 iPod touch would be a masterstroke. But there is something in the back of my head that keeps telling me Apple will drop the 8GB if they introduce a 64GB model. Four levels of iPod touch seems like too many options for Apple. They’re more simplified and streamlined than that. Even at the expense of expanding the iPhone OS with a (relatively) cheap 8GB iPod touch.
This, not component costs or any other factor, is what was holding me back the most from predicting the 8 GB Touch. For it to happen, at least one somewhat unlikely condition must be true: either they need more Touch capacity choices than they usually offer, they need to not introduce a 64 GB model, or they need to skip obvious capacity steps between them. And all of that is assuming that an 8 GB Touch at $149 is even economically possible (it’d be tight, but I think it’s possible). The 8 GB Touch is definitely my riskiest prediction — riskier, in my opinion, than the death of the Classic.