The entire Office suite is a good product with few realistic competitors. For all the criticisms, it does exactly what many businesses need. And the de-facto requirement for good Office compatibility keeps businesses on Windows.
Let's also add that it's very cheap for what it is.
Office 2010 Home and Business 2010 (Outlook, Word, Excel, OneNote, PowerPoint) is £159GBP inc tax. It has a usable life of ~5 years. That's £2.65GBP/month (about the same as two loaves of reasonable quality bread a month)
Reading the info about installs strongly suggests that unless you bought a PC with a preload then you have to buy the "2 install" version at £240 (but it's pretty opaque).
Bread is a very poor comparison as the margin per unit decreases at a far lower rate than that for non-material goods. I'm sure MS would argue they're only licensing use to you too - perhaps "it's not much more than a TV license" would be better?
I'm largely with you WRT philosophy of 'ownership'.
However in the current legal framework this is wrong and I strongly disprove of the thrust by companies to force more sold products to be treated as licensed - thus for example preventing resale, [non-copyright infringing] sharing and the like.
I consume bread I don't give it back in a materially unaltered way.
You don't need to buy hardware with this; the quoted "OEM" price and part number are retail (compare with Amazon, for instance). It is locked to a single PC like traditional OEM products, however, and doesn't include media. The ordinary retail package is transferable, can be installed on two PCs at the same time, and includes a DVD.