radiation hardening does NOT mean long lead times or ultra expensive components.
NASA are not idiots you're right, they also don't build microsatellites with off the shelf arduinos.
You need to do some research. NASA just successfully launched two PhoneSat satellites this year, which use Arduino as part of a watchdog circuit. They plan on flying more in the future.
Planet Labs was founded by two of the lead engineers who built PhoneSat. The founders of Nanosatisfi worked at NASA Ames, where PhoneSat was built, and EADS Astrium, a major satellite manufacturer.
Just because something appears in a parts catalog doesn't mean it's available for overnight shipping. You'll find that out if you actually try to order them.
The fact that someone is doing something differently than you would doesn't necessarily mean they are stupid or know less than you do. They may have good reasons for what they are doing, because they spent more time thinking about the problem than you did composing your Slashdot flame. Not to mention building actual hardware and testing it. If you believe you can do better, great -- build your own satellite.