Relatedly, I think it's somewhat amusing – I find myself using the Mac App Store the way I sometimes use brick and mortar stores – to look and see my options and then I go see if I can find a "better deal" from a website – in this case, the software publisher's site.
Similarly, the stuff I have actually bought from the App Store is either items that are only available there or are so cheap/single use items that I don't care about shopping around.
By the way, anyone wanting automated Apple receipt validation code should look at Receigen on the Mac App Store. It generates a validation solution with each new version number.
There are at least three key issues brought out by the original post, IMHO:
1) By moving to the App Store distribution from a previous, independent distribution system, publishers have clearly taken a step backwards in terms of being able to push out bug fixes. This is a huge issue and it's irrespective of what other platforms have to live with. It's a clear downgrade of a valuable feature for end-users and that's a problem – particularly because it's largely driven by policy and not technical requirements.
2A) Even worse, Apple's gatekeeping is horribly broken – approval is so opaque as to almost seem arbitrary and therefore cannot be relied upon. This is not the author's fault.
2B) The standards for gatekeeping, such as they are, are not constant. It seems clear that features that were previously acceptable can become no longer acceptable if Apple deems them to be competitive with Apple products. Or, worse, if Apple alters their products in such a way as to overlap with the existing features of a product in the App Store, a program may no longer be approved – essentially without warning and with no grandfathering due to prior approvals.
So, yes, this story says a lot about the controlled environment of a walled garden ecosystem.
And ironically, despite caring less and less about users like me, they still get my business, because the other computer makers are degrading so badly.
If only someone were interested in making a computer for the rest of us [sigh...]