There were polls made on the UAV but not a proper thread. So here it is, our UAV thread.
I believe that UAV is closer to being used as the backbone of combat aircraft than most people like to think. One reason why this development isn't going as fast as it can is because the manned aircraft are being protected by the Pilot class generals. Basically an air force without pilots is unthinkable.
But when was the last time an American combat aircraft actually engaged in extensive air to air dogfight? I believe the last time an actual dogfight took place was Vietnam. After Vietnam, the kills seem to have all come from Phoenix or AMRAAMs with beyond visual range kills. Current UAVs have proven that they can take out ground targets as they have for the CIA in the War against Terror.
In the question of air superiority, again, dogfighting never did it. Nowadays a precise strike of cruise missiles, stealth fighter raids (which can also be unmanned) can win you total air dominance. If an enemy does reach the air, you can engage with long range air to air missiles and win here. If the enemy does shoot down one of your UAVs, you don't have to worry about losing pilots, having hostages that will give the enemy leverage in negotiations and also a UAV tends to be cheaper than a manned combat aircraft.
Unmanned vehicles are underrated at this point. After all, if a satellite mission all the way to the ends of the solar system can be done by a robot, collecting all kinds of information and finding its way around the vast emptiness, I have full confidence that it could do something as elementry as take off, fly a pre-determined route or take commands from a remote station, drop a bomb on a target and then fly back and land on its own.
Think of the potential. An aircraft that can fit in your bedroom that can have a "crew" of 6. Imagine the incredible ability that would have. Situational awareness issues could be solved just like that. Need more people helping out on that mission? No problem. Just link another control station. No "B" model of the aircraft neccessary.
Point is, the advantages of the UAV are so staggeringly clear, that we will see the end of manned aircraft after the next generation of fighter aircraft are ruled obsolete.