Next month, I plan to get the iPad model that replaced the Air (which has been discontinued). I actually played around with the Pro as my brother had just got one. What it has over the iPad are the iPencil, the smartcover, the better display and the A9X chip (it’s 1.85 times faster than the A8, as against the A9 chip which is 1.6 times faster). My tech-buying model is try to get the right mix of future proofing and price so I can afford to junk it for a new model before the tech goes obsolete. The iPad fits this model better than the Pro. Besides like you pointed out I’m coming from iPad 3. So this iPad itself feels like a big jump, and I think I can live with the compromises.
I agree my talking about the iPad 3 now is a bit like flogging a dead horse. What probably set it off was the news that iPad sales are falling. That seemed to confirm that many iPad users were following my 5-year cycle rather than Apple’s preferred three year cycle. Which sort of made me feel vindicated, and hope that I could convince Apple to try to extend their iPad cycle from 3 years to 4 years at least. I may not succeed but at least I will have tried, and be happier for that.