How fast Apple abandons which hardware, exactly? We're talking computers here, not phones. My 6 year old MBP still runs Mavericks fine, and I just sold it for $500, because it's still a damn nice computer for the majority of users (8GB of RAM, 240GB SSD, and a 15" screen).
If you want a home* demonstration of how tiny hot-spots spread in glass in a slightly different context: blow torch a redhot-spot onto a glass bottle and then put the glass in the microwave for a few minutes. Whereas before the glass would have been fine in the microwave for an indeterminately long time, it will now turn into a puddle of molten goop in short order.
Different wavelengths and all for the laser stuff, but still.
I was damn happy with Torque, but then they went through a bunch of mismanagement with InstantAction and then when they recovered, put money into good documentation but not into maintaining OS X compatibility and I split. Nothing I've looked at since then has hit the right combination of cross-platform, having solid networked physics, and allowing me to hack hardware-instancing support into the graphics pipeline (or supporting it out of the box in the closed-source cases).
You didn't wait for the crickets;) There are quite a few free engines on the market that predate the Unity/UE show, and if you've spent any time in the area you know the landscape pretty well. jME, Panda, Torque, Irrlicht, OGRE,....
Your post says "I don't know anything about game development, but I've got this sweet anti-F/OSS rant I've been waiting to post for a while"