I think it has something to do with the retro-gaming movement, away from the 3d realistic games back to simpler 2 dimensional games that are great because of their inventiveness and playability rather than their realism.
On a side note, I wonder how many people upon seeing 'load' hear the sound of some fsk sounds :)
Furthermore, demosceners are still pushing the limits of the hardware; case in point, see Edge of Disgrace by Booze Design. Yes, that is a ~1MHz machine drawing shaded primitives. :)
I don't do anything fancy with my C64; it's just another musical instrument out of many (MIDI interfaces are still being manufactured; and the MSSSIAH software to drive it is still being updated regularly), but it's certainly hellafun to play with, and brings back great memories every time I fire it up.
I've read that the Sony folks made the argument that they wanted the PS3 to be a hard platform to work with, at the start, so that it would still be relevant in five years. When I first read that I thought, "That's just stupid!" I still think it's utterly stupid, but I also think that a really great platform might just get people developing for it well into the future by providing interesting technical challenges. I think it takes huge popularity, though, and PS3 will never have that. The best examples of living far beyond their useful life are the C64 and the original Gameboy...both of which were not only good devices in their time, they were both the most popular device of their class, of all time. So, I don't think the PS3 will have a scene in 25 years, but the Wii or DS might.
Semi-relatedly: Interestingly enough, for those of us born through during the latter half of the 1970's and through the 1980's, the Germans call us the C64 Generation, which is a label that I really wear with pride since the C64 was my first foray into tinkering with micros after I turned three in 1990.
Way to make me feel really old. I was eight when I got my first C64, and it was when they were new on the market, so around 1982 or 1983. I ran a C64 BBS by the time I was twelve. In 1990 I had just bought my first Amiga.
But, I too enjoy having been a C64 kid, and take pride in the quirkiness of using one to this day.
On the Edge: the Spectacular Rise and Fall of Commodore
As I recall the responsibility of getting the 1541 working with the C64 was the responsibility of one of their more crazy, drunken, hard working employees. His name escapes me...Bill....