While I can appreciate your sentiment, you *can't* get a decent laptop for $500. You can get a laptop that will run XP or GNU/Linux or *BSD for $500. But the world uses Windows, and if you are going to be running Vista well, you are looking at $800 for the laptop. And while, that is phenomenal, TFA is trying to convey that over the next few months they want to take the $800 laptop and make it cost $500, and that $500 desktop to cost $400. Industries hurting now don't care where we are going to be in 100 years or even how far we have come in 10. The industry has been chasing this ever increasing sliding scale of performance. Consumers have benefited by getting more powerful machines.
Oddly enough, Moore's observations are still viable, but it is the economy that is going to slow the trend. Demand is shifting from the same price point to one lower. This will cause a momentary dip in the trend. Once the new price point stabalizes Moore's Law will again be relevant.