Well said. Moreover, for those of us who have dealt with hardware piracy, Device and Vendor IDs are critical identification tools, not only to ensure that OUR software runs correctly, but it's one other way to identify pirated hardware. Most pirates aren't smart enough to use the correct information in the flash. Heck it was so important 10 years ago that Microsoft used Windows Update to enforce four-field enforcement on PCI devices. Instead of using two-field matching, that allowed, say, Asus motherboards to coat-tail on Intel drivers, Windows Update required four-field matching (Vendor ID, Device ID, Subvendor ID, subdevice ID). While it added an additional layer of validation cost, Microsoft did it because of the problems with incompatible drivers, not piracy. Also, in the PCI world, falsifying IDs is just as critical as in the USB world.
My main concern is that the purpose of these IDs is to ensure compatibility, which Apple can, in no way, guarantee with the Pre. Had Palm asked and entered into an arrangement, they might've had the opportunity to do it right. It's also true that Apple has no legal requirement to facilitate the functionality and no MORAL obligation, for that matter. The way Palm went about the Pre indicates that no matter how revolutionary the OS is (and it IS), it will be marginalized for both consumers AND business. Palm has developed a pattern on the Pre of half-assing things that actually MATTER (ActiveSync security, anyone?).