I am going to simply post the link and HIGHLY encourage you to read this. This blog, and the thesis it refers to, hits the figurative nail on the head. Where will publishing be in 5, 10, or even 20 years? This is a topic we all need to discuss, and timely if anything else.
Branding: The Future of Publishing?
The official thesis that resulted in this wonderful discussion: if:book: a clean well-lighted place for books