Your point about peripherals is spot on. Many people (and companies like Microchip) feel that peripherals are more important than the core. TI's AM335x MPUs have very interesting digital peripherals (PWM, QEP, co-processor, etc).
I have been saying that for several years that in order to get into mobile devices Intel has to demonstrate integration. They certainly know both the CPU and chipset/peripheral space, but they were stuck with the separate product lines. They need to compete with ARM which can offer a complete system like Beaglebone Black with CPU, chipset, rich peripherals/comms/I/O, and RAM + flash memories for $45---which you can just turn on, put on the network and log into a complete in-system development environment, either via SSH or a web browser.
The time of 8-bit, 4kB program memory systems is over---even for DUI. Even in the super-low-power, 32-bit ARM Cortex M chips are competitive with MSP430s, PICs and AVRs.
I would love to have something like this in a QFN package and some nice peripherals. I have a signal analysis problem that it would be great if I could run a 1024 point FFT at .01ms intervals. This would give me enough resolution for what I am trying to do as well as make it so that I can reduce the noise in the signal.