I just had a flash of inspiration. One of the problems with the cube paradigm is as Neil Raden says here in his Netezza white paper. It doesn't take advantage of cheap hardware scalability and it abstracts the most educated guesses of strike teams that don't always strike true.
What if we reversed the paradigm of query aggregation with the understanding that end-users have significant hardware resources at their disposal? The idea here is that an analyst will poke at peek at detail and then come to some preliminary conclusions given their worms eye view of the business. Therefore you give them very specific access to real-time data in their area of expertise and then allow them to speculate about the effect on the business. In other words, rather than using standard top-down metadata to pre-build aggregations for marting, allow ad-hoc aggregations using bottom-up metadata decided on by some collaboration of worms-eye views of the business.