I was thinking about a feature (even a script) to predict the computational effort for a certain render (either still or animation). So that, a blender artist can know the computational effort for a certain rendering, so knowing also his computer performance (running a benchmark) he can predict the total computational time.
So he can also compare this time with renderfarm’s times (even free, like renderfarm.fi, or payware).
I found Cycles very interesting and powerful, but when I bought my laptop i only considered that it was an affair to buy a 800€ machine for only 400€ (last piece in store!), regardless of the GPU card (It’s a Radeon HD5650 1GB)… Cycles doesn’t fully support OpenCL at this time so I’m very unhappy =(
I think that this will be a very useful and powerful feature.