The trackpoint is the only pointing device that allows touch-typists to keep their fingers close to asdfjkl;. A typical mouse slows me down, as my hand has to leave the keyboard. A touchpad is almost a solution, but it requires some awkward thumb stretching to keep one's fingers on asdfjkl;.
To be fair, I try to avoid using the mouse and often use shortcuts or hotkeys etc to get around the screen. Some seem to think that this is backwards thinking, but when it comes to getting around the screen I seem to be able to run circles around mouse user coworkers.
If you don't use alt-tab, you probably don't get where I am coming from.
I had a work-supplied T23 Thinkpad for two years and never used the trackpoint. In fact, I hated it. Then I forgot to take my mouse on a two week trip and I was forced to use it. Since then, it is a dealbreaker for my laptop purchases. I've even gone so far as to bring a USB keyboard w/ a trackpoint to labs in the computer because my productivity drops w/o it.
For graphical work, the trackpoint is not up to snuff. A mouse is better, a graphical pen is the best.