I haven't posted in a long time, but I read this, and I thought "none of them actually answered the question", rather, they have stated why they do not like the airbus question, and mentioned how wonderful the 777 is. I believe this has nothing to do with the question at all. Rather, I point to the airbus system of flight deck design, as a system based on common components and systems that run throughout an entire fleet.
Regardless of weather you agree with cross crew flight, the airbus systems represent one very important feature. All the compenents are identical - right across the range. Even if flight crews are not mixed, from a maintanence point of view, everything is symplified extremely, and hudge cost savings are realised. A company only requires one pool of maintanence staff to service the entire product line, verse a different pool with different training. The airbus system allows you to maximise the efficiency of your maintanence from both a staffing and technical point of view - which translates into millions of dollars annually alone even for a small airline.
What this has to do with the 777 I cannot see. But I will say that I believe the 777 is the most airbus like plane produced outside of the consortium. Its systems have previously been entirely exclusive to airbus aircraft. (even the doors are airbus like, in the direction they open etc) From a point of view of common systems though - it is not an advancement at all. If Boeing has 'limmited' the 777s systems to the same technology used onboard the 767/757 and 744, it would start of have a degree of commanality across its fleet, and extend those same systems to the 737 family. Whislt, due to the lack of other common components, the degree would not be the same as that of airbus, it would provide operators with a big incentive. The downsid would have been the 777 simply would not be as good as it is today, and quite possibly have lost a lot of sales.
It will take Boeing a complete new product line in order to match the airbus system, which i believe, at the very least, would take 15 years to achieve. This is basically because Airbus Industrie has used complete new designs, and thus, has been able to incorparate the same technology across the fleet very extensively, not just in the flight deck, but also in most of the compenents the aircraft uses, right up to the doors, and the passenger service units. This, can not be easily acheived with a derivative aircraft, without basically changing so much of the design that you would be better off just starting from scratch and designing a complete new airframe, verse a derivative.
I may also state that I believe the 777 is an excellent machine, however, it is a stand alone. It is not part of a family that are very similar in technology. It is a shining star that stands alone, in its glory. I believe it would be an excellent base for common technology across a new Boeing family, but, it will be a long time comming.
So, that is the what I believe the airbus system offers. 2 advantages, the crewing advantage if you chose it, or, more importantly, a maintanence advantage. Its all about saving money and accounting.