I mostly agree with you.
The point I was trying to make is that a conceptual difference exists between the amalgamation of a curated selection of technologies in the creation of something that gives new meaning to those individual technologies and is greater than the sum of its parts and blatantly just copying without any new contribution or inspiration. Apple rarely if ever has truly invented a technology--but consumers don't care. What they have done--brilliantly--is figured out how to frame existing technologies in ways that drastically improve them, and make them appear to be inevitable when they weren't before. What consistently has set Apple apart is their aesthetic sensibilities. Good design appears inevitable, almost natural--but it so rarely is. You can try your best to point to what made the iPod, iPhone, or iPad great products, but you'll fail. It's the entire experience of the product, the new gestalt they each created that has made them triumph over their existing rivals--not the individual technologies they comprise. This, like it or not, is artistry and it's not an illusion or something created by marketers. The products are works of passion, and Apple is really one of the very few BIG companies in the world that has consistently demonstrated an ability to have faith in their own vision, which we all should applaud. There is so much poorly designed crap in our world created only to enrich some MBA CEO who has no care outside of his own bank account. Say what you will about Apple, but it's hard to deny their passion and artistry. Here on Slashdot, everyone sees the trees and misses the forest.
I'm in no way justifying Apple's suits against Samsung or defending Apple against the suits it faces. The law is often black and whit when it comes to copyright law.