Reminds me of their corporate slogans...
"make.believe."... that OtherOS removal, CD Rootkits, Geohot lawsuit, etc never happened
We'll screw all our customers... "like.no.other"
"It's a Sony"... too bad, I would have bought it otherwise.
Except for the standards-based browser, talks-to-everything email app, third-party apps like GoodReader, DropBox, AirVideo... which offer alternative ways to sync/share/stream material... Oh, and while you do have to use iTunes to sync videos and music, iTunes will happily accept audio and video in a variety of common formats from any source (you may need to re-encode the video - but there is free software for that and it makes sense to optimze video for the target device anyway). Yes, there is an element of lock-in, but it doesn't half get exaggerated.
I agree with you in that for the masses, it really makes things easier. For myself, my hate of iTunes stems from the fact that I sort all my songs myself, i.e. I put albums into sorted folders, categorized by genre, artist, etc. When I want to put a song or picture onto my music player, I don't really like the fact that I have to first import it into a library, wait for it to scan through all the gapless information (!), and the transfer it to the iPod. I've used Handbrake to reencode videos for the iPod and PSP, so I know that works very well too. I now use my Android phone, so I don't actually need iTunes for transferring anything. On the Mac itself, iTunes will also not play half the media that I have - flac, avi, mkv, etc. I miss that flexibility of Linux on the mac, but then for everyone's different needs, there are choices. I've ended up just installing XBMC on the Mac, which will play everything under the sun.
I suppose at the end of the day, not one company is perfect, you just pick and choose what works for you. I've got friends and family who use Macs too, and they're perfectly happy with iTunes, and whatever else came with their Mac. Me, I love my MacbookPro, but I'm still miffed that there's no Home and End keys on it
Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind... - Percy Bysshe Shelley