The growth of remote work could ease some of this effect. If your employer's offices are located in SF or Portland but you don't have to live there, it seems counterintuitive for many types of people (esp. families) to pay to play in those markets.
If the question were about car batteries or electric blankets, I'd agree with you. But it's not; this is about laptop and mobile batteries, which concerns a huge percentage of HN users. That's also why this thread is so active. I'm in the 8-year club here on HN and I don't have a problem with it.
I still have a Macbook running 10.6.8 (SL) and indeed, it's rock solid. Never crashes. Never an issue with wifi, either. It's a workhorse. I've replaced the battery a few times but I'm glad I've never upgraded the OS. And I use it for development from my couch and it never leaves the house.
Of course, the caveat there is that I'm a Python dev. If I were a front-end dev (or, say, a mobile dev who needed the latest XCode to write iOS 8 apps) there's no way I'd be able to get away with this.
I'm looking for entry-level or junior dev work and a career change from a civil engineering background. While I'm a generalist into both front and backend and will happily accept work on either end, I am most interested in DevOps and backend. I'm comfortable on the CLI and with vim, tmux, git, ssh, etc. I also have some sysadmin experience.
Excellent soft skills, and I'm easily in the 99th percentile of English fluency and written communication. If you need good documentation, technical writing, or even web copy, I can definitely help you with that if you're willing to carve out time for me in exchange for helping me improve my programming chops and technical development. Shoot me a message—I'm hungry to level up.