I often think that our remote sensing acquisition strategy is very much a "Field of Dreams," in that we hope that "if we build it, he will come." What we hope in the case of remotely sensed data is not for long-dead baseball players to show up, but for the data to enable us to make better decisions. This doesn't always happen. We are far better at collecting data than we are at extracting meaningful information from that data. Try getting your hands on NASA ICESat data, you won't be able to read it using any common proprietary or open source GIS package.
Today and tomorrow I am at a workshop in Boulder being run by NEON, the National Ecological Observation Network. In the coming years NEON is going to start collecting massive amounts of remotely sensed data for selected sites across the United States. NEON's Airborne Observation Platform is impressive - it includes both a hyperspectral and a full waveform LiDAR sensor. What I think is more impressive is that NEON is thinking very hard about the data products that they will provide to end users. There is no way they will be able to meet the needs of everyone, but it's nice to see the scientific community moving away from providing simply raw data (Level 0) or products with minimum processing (Level 1) to products in common geospatial formats that those with limited remote sensing expertise will be able to use (Level 2-6).