> no understanding of the importances of "just works"
That's not their part of the job.
Various entities can label something as user-friendly. FSF is pretty much the only entity that can label stuff as free.
This is one laptop. Hopefully next year there'll be twenty, and then someone can take on the job of announcing which is the most user-friendly of the twenty free laptops.
I'd take issue with them nominating themselves as the one true source, but that's neither here nor there. The real question is whether people will be willing to pay exorbant prices for relatively ancient hardware on the grounds that it very slightly increases the amount of "freedom" they have. Given that 99.95% of people will have no idea what this is about and further wouldn't care if they did (as we're talking about an increase that is difficult if not impossible to measure and arguably doesn't exist) I wouldn't hold your breath on this becoming anything more than an isolated instance.
In short, unless one can prove that even a tiny percentage of computer BIOSes and the like are phoning home or contacting the NSA with daily activity reports exactly no one, on the grand scale, will care. It reminds me of all the efforts to create a "free" CPUs or graphics cards in the past. Sure, you could do it and have them as long as you're okay with 10 or 15 year old technology that is incapable of doing anything that is currently useful. But it's Free!