I think the article is spot on. I like the RPi, and have several, but by the time you buy all the supporting equipment, it's no longer the bargain it sounds like. The article shows clearly to all that the main CPU is no longer the expensive component of a total working system like it was for the PC era.
Many complaints about the article compare it to the effort computing took back in the TRS-80 dayz. While it may be comparable in difficulty to what we had back then, it misses the point that this is supposed to be an entry system for poor, casual users and unsophisticated beginners, not hard-core nerds like me and apparently many of the complainants.
If the designers were more savvy, they would have put a full-size male HDMI plug on the end and a female USB A on the other, with a minimal clamshell cover it all. Think Chromecast or Intel Compute Stick form factor.
If the device can work on back-fed power from a connected powered hub like the original RPi, that's even better as it eliminates another power supply and cable. Vendors could even advertise as RPi power compatible! Once you've found a suitable powered hub, all you'd need is that and a keyboard/mouse. And the display, of course.. and the MicroSD card.. and a USB WiFi or Ethernet device if you want to get online..
I really wish they would provide serial console access via the micro-B "power" port, too. I'd love to have a working system that I can power and talk to from my laptop. In fact, I'd love to have a whole server farm of them!
Yes, with all that, you'd overshoot the $5 price point, but the total cost would still be lower without the need for the HDMI and OTG paraphernalia... those cost more than the CPU itself now. If you could walk into a library with a small handful (RPi, microSD, and a powered hub) worth less than $20, power up the hub, plug it into their monitor/KB/mouse, and get your own login prompt, imagined the possibilities!
C'mon, kids! Sell your $150 sneakers, buy some $90 ones instead, get three RPi sets with your cash, and rope two of your nerdy friends into playing with you.