I found out some interesting news today:
Apparently Onkyo is planning on adding Airplay to certain 2012 models. There will be a TX-NR515AE and TX-NR616AE (which are different from the current TX-NR515 and TX-NR616 now shipping) that support Apple's Airplay protocol.
How they plan on doing this is still a mystery to me. It could be a mid-year HW upgrade or it could be a free or paid FW upgrade. These new models appear in Onkyo's Remote 2 Application as well as in their new protocol spec.
The new commands supported are: Airplay Artist, Airplay Album, Airplay Title, Airplay Time Info, Airplay Playback status. These commands are listed as compatible "only with AE model".
Smart Grid command functions, ability to adjust A/V sync from the network/serial port, expanded DAB functions. HDRadio is not listed as a deleted function, so perhaps it will appear in models higher than the TX-NR818. The 2011 models are listed as the last model to support the Universal Port.
HDMI-CEC (RIHD) support is getting better for 2012, RI support is only available for DVD or RI iPod dock.