It gets down to the issue with any product be it a car, house or even a cooker. You have to maintain them, be that cleaning or proactive and reactive maintenance like MOT on a car or repairs for a broken part.
This is also true of computers. Sadly the cost of AA/RAC for a car is a lot cheaper than any software support agreement, let alone hardware. Which is half the battle.
People treat computers like they treat calculators, a simple tool, robust that should just work and you don't have to worry about it degrading overtime beyond jam or dirt on the buttons.
It is with that that with most users the only maintenance they carry out is to clean there mouse, monitor and keyboard. Those who know IT/computers well and operating systems and even those who have a little knowledge, know that this is not the case.
So the argument that a casual user needs a more robust/powerful computer to counter the degrading aspect is right but also the wrong approach. For the price of a high-end SSD computer the humbler user could buy a standard well adjusted computer and a year later buy a replacement and still end up spending less money.
With mobile phones and tablets the mentality the industry is bestowing is one of that the product is good for the warranty period and after that you should be getting a new model anyhow.
With that, you don't need bleeding edge or to be paying for it, you need something that you can get support/issues dealt with under warranty. This is why Apple are doing well, as for a common end user, having a store they can get that level of support and a standard point of call is one which they know and trust. If you get a Ford car, during its warranty period you get it regularly serviced by Ford, this is true of a lot of consumer products for the period of there warranty. It is outside that period were the extra user is pushed that you use 3rd parties expertise.
Now with a computer the amount of time and effort to get it back to normal is almost guaranteed to be greater than its initial cost if you start hand repairing things beyond a certain level and with that a the approach of just reinstalling became the standard and safest approach It's not lazy, its just the best sane way. We have all heard the story of a friend of Steve Balmer having issues with his PC and Mr Balmer saying my techs will sort it out and after many many hours/days etc. they concluded that it was best to reinstall than to hand pick all the spyware/malware and other issues it had. So as an approach you not showing that you can't do it, just that it is really the sanest and in many cases the only real way to fix the issue software wise.
Now back to a common run of the mill computer user having some high-end SSD singing system. Sure it will hide the issues a lot of PC have in that it will have the speed to hide those issues, does it make it better, is it a better approach, nope. A approach which the user can pay for a PC and software and have one place which he can get support, on a fair price support contract is one which they want. People say Apple products are pricey, but there again support is not cheap and if you can cover that and offer a little bit more touchy feely element to the support procedure for the user then the user is happier.
Yes you do have to hold there hand, but there again we are in many ways at the stage with computers were there was no driving licence and antivirals is not legally required so in many respects we have yet to get to the stage which has a man walking in front with a red flag warning non drivers of the impending car coming
It is also worth factoring in that computer with regards to laptops/desktops are in many ways like Swiss army knifes in that they are multi functional tools. you could have a computer that does just manage the time and display it and it will just work doing that simple dedicated job, we call them watches and you can get expensive or cheap ones, they generally just work, doing that one job.
Imagine eating your meal using only Swiss army knifes, sure it would be doable-though not as easy as using a dedicated knife, fork and spoon and bottle opener etc. This is what home computers are, dedicated multi-function tools. They can play games, they can do work processing and they can run nuclear power plants, but they are also not as good as a dedicated tool for the job.
So for a lot do they need a powerful computer, no they need a games console to play games upon, they need a camera that plugs into there printer, they need a computer that just does there internet banking/facebook and allows them to do emails and type and read documents. So in many respects for common normal users I'd say a dedicated tool whenever possible is more apt and for many a chromebook would not be that wide of the mark.
Another way to look at it is does a normal user need a high-end scientific function graphing calculator or something that does the basics. When you look at it from that perspective you understand that a dedicated tool which will just work at that limited range of tasks the user wants is more suitable than not.
Remember the average common user want s simple interface and with that you can appreciate why Windows8 changed as much, me as a geek who knows what to do I found Vista just fine and lament the direction windows8 metro is going. But I understand it and accept it. Though until we get a system that just works and is not in need of software updates every random moment and is as robust as a desktop calculator, well until then everybody could do with understanding a little bit of computer maintenance in the same way that early car users had to be mechanically minded or have somebody on staff who was.
Remember you can add a margin of error and give a normal user a high-end computer or you can just eliminate that error and give them the tools they need that just work. With that for many a games-console, telephone and Tablet or Chromebook seem to be more suitable over the state of the art high-end tools. It would be like shopping at Tesco's in a Ferrari, sure can be done, but an expensive way towards practicality. I would also want a user that had an issue to be able to know and get help, if they have malware scanning and hacking away at the internet as part of a Bot army then I’d like there pc to slow down and for them to be able to see they need help. Certainly not approach that issue by making them have a faster PC and bigger pipe to the internet.