I will never understand the fascination with the idea of having a touch screen on a laptop/desktop computer. I don't know anyone that uses their touch-screen smartphone/tablet in an upright position (unless it's docked). There is nothing remotely intuitive or comforting about having to press "forward" rather than "downward" when using a touch interface.
Of course, that is beyond the point, when you are spending $1300 on an admittedly pretty shell that is essentially a browser you can install for free on your current computer.
That's not to say the shell is meaningless. I've spent what seems a lifetime waiting for the PC industry to make hardware that aesthetically stands up without ever seeing it happen (about the only reason I'd ever buy a Macbook is that now you can install Windows on them, because while I think OS X is like a Fisher Price toy in terms of functionality, the hardware is so far beyond what the rest of the PC industry does it's sad).
So, I applaud Google for not cheaping out on the shell. And, perhaps one day the Chrome OS will be able to functionally do more than the Chrome browser, but until that day happens, as much as I like the idea of getting rid of poorly built laptop shells, I have to believe it shouldn't cost $1300 to do so. If it does, it's a remarkable failure in modern manufacturing.
That said, I'm excited to see where Google goes from here in hardware. They're in the relatively unique position of not having to derive much, if any, profits from future hardware devices, which if they were the Microsoft everyone once feared and hated, they'd use to dominate the hardware system. I've often felt that the rest of the tech industry is incredibly lucky that there isn't a strong hand at the helm of Google, as their spaztastic and incredibly fragmented approach to business keeps them so far from their potential. A laser-focused Google would be terrifying (from a competitor's point of view; I would love it, as a consumer).