I am upgrading from a D90 to D7000, so I personally have no use for the feature set of a D300s, and I am quite excited about the new video capability.
However, I tend to disagree with much of what you said about D300s users simply feeling threatened by the D7000.
There are people who need faster fps and do not want to buy a D3s. Remember that the D300s with a grip has even faster fps and it's WAY cheaper than a D3s, and crucially, it has much more resolution. So many wildlife shooters (especially ones on a budget) will opt for a D300s over both a D3s (for obvious reasons) and a D7000 (for the fps). Plus the D300s' size (especially with the grip) for many people feels better than the D90/D7000, and some of the controls are undoubtedly better than the D90 We'll have to see about the D7000 controls. So the D300s continues to have a niche, not a big one, but why denigrate the Nikonians who prefer the D300s?
Btw, there are clear mechanical differences between high-end professional models and low-end models. To name just one: in the pro models, the shutter is spring-loaded; in the low-end ones it is electical.