Maybe it is your sort of attitude (that is the way it works!!- stfu, loser! we are making tons of profit aren't we? we don't need great products, just need to be less painful than the rest!) that is contributing to the malaise.
The thing is their products are agile in price since they have high fixed costs and low marginal costs. Airlines are classic example of this.
Um... airlines have low marginal costs? Where did you get that from? I think what you are getting at is the ability to execute price differentiation. Having a low marginal cost of course helps you execute this because you can drop all the way to zero, but I don't think you can call running flights low-cost!
Real Programmers don't eat quiche. They eat Twinkies and Szechwan food.