Quite agree. The "problem" is that product reviews are far from being trustworthy. The only surefire method to accurately gauge an app is to try it yourself. If they're annoying or don't work as advertised, you stop using them, some of them after 5 minutes. I will only buy an app if someone I know recommends it, but the free apps are like popcorn, and I will download it and try it later if it looks mildly useful/entertaining. I don't see the harm in that.
I'd say, that of the 100 or so apps I've tried, maybe 10-20 of them are ones I use again and again. I definitely agree, it's deja shareware all over again.
Also, I think there's a difference here - most people that have iPhones also have decent internet connections, and don't necessarily feel like spending a lot of time staring at the small screen when they have a bigger one nearby. Honestly, I have NOT noticed a great deal of iPhone users who have that patent-pending Crackberry Neck Slump.