Why are you saying a trackpad is better for a large area? Don't you end up having to lift your finger, go back to the other end of the pad and drag it across again, instead of just applying constant pressure on the TrackPoint?
For short clicks it's just a matter of preference, IMO. When I first switched to the macbook it felt strange for about a week but after that I didn't miss it one bit.
On gnome I set the pointer speed to very (almost maximum), and am able to zoom across any screen under a second, simply by applying more pressure.