Well, it certainly seems to apply in a number of areas. To wit:
- Clothing - Of course
- Computer hardware - Apple, Alienware
- Books - "Real Literature"
- Food - French Cuisine
Actually, there's probably a general market development pattern there that pretty much applies across most, if not all, areas of the economy. I think even financial investment instruments were affected by this (how else can anyone explain how Maddox, among others, did what he did?).
The world would probably appear to be much more sane to me if I hadn't (symbolically speaking) taken the blue pill a long time ago. As human beings, we're far too easily manipulated, and your observation along with my own over the years have demonstrated to me that capitalism needs an upgrade; that it's not the highest possible expression of/for human endeavor. The non-profit and creative commons models come closer, but those models seem to lack intrinsic motivators/reward mechanisms (e.g. greed in capitalism) and I'm assuming a good economic model needs one. Still looking I guess. Of course, there's lots I don't know, so if you know of better, I'm all ears.