This really seems like Apple is taking a step backwards to me. While the closed system of the iDevices does provide a relatively bug free experience, there are bugs. And when it doubt, home button. I used to an iPhone user and loved it when I had it, then I switched to Android, which I really love. Recently I got an iPad for work and it has really surprised me how cumbersome it is to use by comparison, largely due to the lack of permanent buttons like Home and Back. I really can't imagine how much more cumbersome it will be to use once the home button is gone.
By the way, what's the deal with tech companies starting out as innovative and ending up with their head in their asses? Steve, are you worried that you missed something up there the last go around in the late 90s?