Bullfrog, many thanks for understanding my perspective.
We need to understand that cabin space is a precious commodity, and that seat designers try to cram in as many seats as they can, while still working to a brief, like direct aisle access for every seat.
The new EADS seat gives the impression of 1-2-1 as you correctly say, and if you sit in one and look left and right you will only see a maximum of 3 other passengers. That’s the idea of the staggering.
However we need to realise that the seat is not just the upright bit we sit in but an oblong unit, and on one side of our seat will be half of the next one. If you assign a letter to each vertical line of seats you will have 8 different letters on the seat plan, so 8 across.