Indians will start announcing that they no longer want to work in sweatshops either, and then what is a poor megacorp to do?
Outsource to Africa?
Not sure about NVidia's card's, but right now two of AMD's 4850s are cheaper than and just as fast as a single 4890. It's the best deal around the $220 price point.
And why should anyone really, when modern day consoles cost about the same amount as one would spend on a moderately high end processor + video card, why the hell would most people want to spend an extra 300 bucks or so to have an extra video card at only 25% or less extra benefit in framerate?
Because they're unreliable, tend to overheat, and have expensive games that run at low framerates.
If you build your own PC you can make it out of highly-rated (by other purchasers of course, don't trust "consumer reporting" agencies) parts and carefully cool it so it works nicely. Building it from scratch this way will be more expensive than getting a console, but if you're just upgrading it like you are saying in your post, it won't be.
For an average Joe, getting good at any part of modding takes hard work and isn't immediately rewarding. Most people play games to have fun and be immediately "rewarded" and positively reinforced. Modding doesn't provide that unless you're either already good at it or enjoy producing utter crap - and given that most people aren't already good, we see lots of crap.
The main challenge (after advertising of course) is to make it easy for the musicians, level designers, texturers, modelers, etc to express themselves, to spark initial interest in them doing so. With models, you can just have them submit the models in any popular format, allowing modelers using different software packages to contribute content. But with levels, a good map editor is important to get skilled mappers with free time interested and productive. Of course, this is an investment in its own, so overinvesting in this could defeat the purpose of crowdsourcing.
3) How to relate to people with less power than you.
Really? Even in a position of "leadership" in school you don't really have that much more power, and so I never really learned this in school.