Reader Brian G pointed out to me that Apple’s 15-inch MacBook Pro (non Retina) is not being offered with a 16GB option any more. Was it ever? I don’t remember, but either way it’s a bit odd of Apple not to have it.
As another reader speculated:
This is a clearly intentional handicap to push people to go with the Retina if they want more than 8GB.
Maybe... but I guess it has more to do with the “dumbing down” and “one size fits all” theme that Apple is bent on these past years: one size iPhone, one size Mac Pro with no internal expansion. Removing a 16GB option is consistent.
But probably the 15-inch non-Retina is about to be EOL'd in favor of dropping entirely and/or moving to a new model, and Apple does not want any build variants to deal with this late in the model life.
I do prefer the Retina model myself, but it’s a significant cost enhancement.