How is the 35 not optimal for every situation? Where is it lacking? BVR or CAS?
A laggardly maneuvering, hangar hound which cant be built in the numbers needed (see earlier) cant accomplish CAS because if it flew slow enough and low enough w. the proper load it would fall out the sky, which a former acting SecDef called a 'piece of S..' in an era where the utility of its particular stealth is diminished by the month and which can barely carry enough even when flying dirty to get the job done of two engine plane (f-15) which some think it replaces. .
beyond the technical issues, i think examples would be it's inability to supercruise, sluggish speed, and a couple others. it has some incredible kit inside and is one of the best strike fighters if not the best. also the b variant stovl capabilities are vital to many airforces and navies.
but there has been serious, valid criticism for quite some time and for a long time those voicing criticism were shot down, sometimes waaaay too harsh, too. all I know is we need to clean house of a lot of politicians on both sides. neocon/neolib types got to go. also lockmart and boeing better get their act together. I swear big business types and politicians just see fellow Americans as mere consumers and units in some abominable, homogenized supranational economic zone.