Several things have changed since that time. First off UA is consistently and hugely profitable, the merger is in the rearview mirror now. Secondly, the tax code has changed pretty dramatically. Third, I think CLE has a better sense of how it will be served by the airlines going forward.
I'm confused as to why you believe CLE would be interested in acquiring D. As discussed previously, D would require tens of millions of dollars to convert it for large regional/mainline jet use, plus the installation of a new interior. Remember, D was conceived as a low-cost, barebones concourse designed to house 8 737 gates as a de facto extension of C; the decision to make D exclusively for regional jets & props enabled CO/CLE to install modular shops & eateries but those would disappear in a reconfiguration (it had about 600 seats and would need double that in a reconfiguration).
Ultimately, spending tens of millions on an upgraded D that's a long hike and lacks a selection of eateries just doesn't make much sense.
On another note I think you're leaving out an important purpose of master facility plans, it's to mobilize public support for change. We have an organization in NEO that is doing a great job of mobilizing public support for a rebuild, and that's MetroHealth. They don't have a great bond rating at all (just looked it up, BBB-, horrible, I believe worse than the airport and City of Cleveland), yet they are starting to float a really excellent plan which the community is getting behind. They have an impressive leader intent on making it happen.
I'm sure in the near future CLE will release an updated master plan that discusses, even if briefly, its plans for D and possible terminal redevelopment. The dehubbing and uncertainly is surely going to delay the updated master plan -- you keep comparing CLE to CVG & PIT, but it took CVG at least 6 years and PIT a decade to release their "life without a hub" plans.
I'm just giving my opinion on master plans.
NYT a few weeks back had a great article on the unprecedented airport building boom, it featured mostly SLC but it talked about the many other projects underway or recently completed. I'd like to think these projects, architects haver learned how to anticipate the sorts of technological changes you are mentioning.
All projects are built for the needs of today with flexibility for the needs of tomorrow, but nothing's going to be built for a possible future, which was my point. Spending $1M+ creating a redidtion of future CLE concourses that will never be is just a silly waste of money.
I liked beer. I still like beer.