I think this is another example where the collective will of corporate marketers is leading society and telling people what to want. The customer may be always right but it's the marketers that are telling the cutomers what to think to be 'right' about! Most eat it up so it works for them. I'm guessing Amazon's Turk people probably are in the minority by actually thinking about things and having opinions beyond what are fed to them.
The industry has been trying to get rid of keyboards for a long time. I think it's more than just they stopped making them. They dropped the quality bit by bit for several generations of devices before they just stopped offering them. I long considered myself a keyboard diehard, even considering trying to piece together my own phone (beagleboard, lcd, plus other modules). I finally gave up and bought a phone with no keyboard. By that time I found I wasn't using the keyboard on my last phone much anyway because even though I hate the on-screen one the physical keys sucked even more!