These issues do not matter for market success but I would like to just mention it because I've been thinking about the 2003 book for several years!
I propose a 100 ton daily payload elevator. Focus on powers of 10: 1, 10, 100.
We should build the two ribbons 100% in parallel. We could even build 3 in case one of them doesn't make it.
The anchor needs to be near land, a big electricity grid, etc. Pick as close to land as possible. I think Sea Launch is an interesting idea, but it doesn't scale to 10 ships, etc. We need to set something up that allows us to add a 2nd elevator right next door, and start to share resources. Plan for a phase 2, even if it isn't in your numbers. Do not paint yourself into a corner.
Some of these things are hard to get right. I might say no laser power beaming to earth, but it would provide energy for the moonbase. It might end up being the reverse. Don't go to deep on things that aren't core to your case.
We will need to work through these on a case by case basis since some have serious technical issues. I suggest that we push toward many of these but we must remain technically correct. For example, two months to Mars is viable, one month to Mars is extremely difficult except for a very long elevator, one week is not viable. We need to spell out the limits and what teh rocket alternative is - that will sell people. I do agree that we need to clean up irrelevant stuff like Venus, Jupiter, a lot of Eric's cost modeling, ... and replace these with better material that we have generated. Bottom line is that there is plenty to clean up though we may not, for technical reasons, be able to get everything we would like.