I can't speak to your experience, and I take you for your word. There aren't many cases where I can book a taxi an hour in advance, and I don't really consider that a very good service offering. Maybe the market will evolve where you get a discount if you plan that far in advance.
All I know is that before Uber, here in Austin, TX we would alter our behavior based on taxi issues. We knew, for example, that being out after 1:30am meant you weren't going to get home until 3:30am, because the demand for taxis as the bars close is enormous, and taxis would not take me where I live because it meant it was their last fare of the night. I literally would have taxis stop, ask where I'm going, and tell me forget it. Time and time again. So we simply would tell our friends goodbye around 1am and leave early to get a taxi. It was fine and we were used to it. It actually didn't bother us that much. But that's kind of how it is with market distortions; the world doesn't end and frankly you're not often even aware of how it could be better, but as soon as it is better, you don't want to go back.
We now arrive and leave whenever we want, unless we decide we don't want to pay the surge pricing. And that's pretty much the point: the surge pricing allows self-selection based on value of the transportation to the individual, rather than a lottery or, worse, a company-controlled decision.