I think that the average person does not know what we can really do with embryonic stem cells, and it is because of that they continue to be such a controversy. As a researcher in medical genetics, I still dont understand how the average person doesnt know what we can "cure" in animals using embryonic stem cells, with minimal adverse effects, and no lifespan alterations etc. To suggest changing the animal procedures to humans would make a difference ignores biology imo...in any case though, mice, rats, dogs, cats (and more) have all ben "cured" from spinal cord injuries using embryonic stem cells. Parkinsons, alzheimers, diabetes, genetic cancers, autoimmune disorders (even the most severe SCID), infertility, and many others have been repeatedly cured by the use of engineered embryonic stem cells in various species and animal models of disease. It is widely thought among scientists that these exact treatments could directly be used on humans if we were simply allowed the technology to do so. ***AND*** while there may be lots of controversy about people who might not want these treatments, there are hundreds even thousands of people who are completely willing and begging to volunteer - and are denied these treatments because a large body of people think the "life" of an embryo (perhaps unwanted) is more valuable than the lives of people suffering from various disease. And I know I know - adult stem cells have enormous value and potential, but as someone with very intimate knowledge, I can tell you adult stem cells cannot and will never do what we have the potential to do with embryonic stem cells.
As for the leftover embryos...well, Im all for using them, but Im all for the creation of dedicated embryos for research as the leftover IVF ones are usually leftover for a reason (ie usually the "best" and "healthiest" embryos are implanted, and these would be the ideal ones for accurate research).
Cord blood overcomes a lot of these ethical issues imo, as being patient specific you dont then have to deal with the immune consequences of the adult stem cell transplant and the timeline of finding a donor etc. But even cord blood cells can't fix everything - cells are only truly totipotent in the early embryo: epigenetic marks cannot be erased.
Im very impressed someone with that HIV-resistance deletion made themselves available for this transplant in any case! It certainly is a step forward for the amazing technology of stem cells (regardless of where they come from)