I would have to agree with you if you are using the Intel platform (Pine Trail). Intel's platform won't even let you use DVI/HDMI above 768p, which further limits its use in an HTPC environment.
If you find a system based around nVidia's ION chipset though, it will work quite well as an HTPC. ION can easily handle 1080p content. Unfortunately, you'll be hard-pressed to find an ION board that will take the new CPUs, since nVidia isn't allowed to make chipsets based around DMI (same technology as used in P55/X58 chipsets to connect to the CPU).
As for the CPU itself, most benchmarks are putting it around 5-10% faster at most, but it does offer noticeable improvements in power consumption (and thus, battery life).
Last edited by Cyclism; 2009-12-21 at 08:22 PM.
Reason: Removed unnecessary quote.