Well I am extremely pleased to have ippodo come to NYC. Despite the proliferation of dedicated tea shops in recent years, getting a really good japanese green, even in NYC has been nigh on an impossibility up until now.
I don't see tea going into the mainstream in the same way as a starbucks or a mcDonalds...
but even if it did, I would see it as a positive move. The majority of the population (at least of the U.S.) sees tea in 1 of 2 ways... either british style with milk and sugar and your grandma, or southern style with enough sugar to make an 8 oz cola blush.
If high quality teas gained popularity, and more people gained an appreciation for them sans milk, sans sugar, how could that not be a good thing? Regardless of the industrialization of it all, there will always be someone filling a need for higher quality, more specialty and refined tastes.
Regardless of what you think of Starbucks coffee (I don't drink coffee, but I hear it's rather burnt), It has helped fuel much of the current coffee culture in America.... and thus the demand for better quality product.
As much as I would love to hold my tea-passion as something secret and special that other people don't (can't) understand, if tea companies aren't successful I won't be able to enjoy their teas anymore... All the best to Ippodo!