Most people don't need these "features" anyways
"Need" is a relative term - but ml has functionality that enables you to take shouts you couldn't have taken otherwise (timelapses, focus stackin) and features that I would never want to be without so Nikon is out the question (zebras, focus peaking, unlimited bracketing).
(2) My battery meter dropped 2 bars in 5 mins of testing! It's like having my old 70-200mm f/4L IS lens on again, ML seems to be power hungry (perhaps was just me switching between playback and liveview mode a lot), so need to test it with 2 x fresh LP-E6's in my grip and shoot video or stuff for an hour or two and see how it goes.
Unless there is a specific problem with the 7d alpha, ml isn't that power hungry except if you use one focus peaking algorithm. The impression users get usually is because you use live view a lot longer with ml, and that's what draws power. Be sure to the ml enable power saving timers that dim the display and so on.
And one hint to all 7d users: This could have been possible long before, it's just that it took until a few days ago that someone has lent the devs a (broken) 7d :-p ... so be sure to donate, one dev (Alex) is working on this full time. Also see the forum here: http://www.magiclantern.fm/forum/