This point of view is a huge problem in my book. First it assumes there is no value in high performance interfaces, when to the contrary history is full of examples of people paying extra for more performance. Second, it isn't like Apple has removed the option for affordable high performance USB devices. It is not a question of being mugged, rather it is the question of having options. Third, prices will likely come down in time, this I honestly believe. However I don't see the prices dropping as fast or as far as they did with USB. For that to happen somebody would have to market a fully compliant TB SoC at a reasonable price.
By SoC I mean basically everything, the I/O, the processor, TB I/O, power management, and possible even the RAM. When you look at USB supporting Micro Controllers you find chips with entire systems built in and these chips are cheap. The speeds TB operates at implies more expensive components. In the end you get what you pay for.
As to seeing this as a failure, well that is up to the individual. From Apples standpoint I think they see their new monitor as a justification for the port right there. If TB allows them to sell a high price monitor with each notebook sold or even a good fraction of those sold it will not be a failure in their eyes. On the other hand if you start out with unreasonable expectations and really don't understand the technology then TB might look like a failure. It is a failure due to ones crafting such an opinion in their mind though and not a reflection of reality.
Another way to look at this is the expense of Apples active cable. This should tell everyone that Apple sees little point in hooking up $75 hard drives with this port. Instead the value comes in when dealing with higher performance devices. Where higher performance implies more expensive.
Originally Posted by Conrail
This is why it might end up being seen as a failure, and is what could ultimately sink it unless users simply have no other option than to get mugged for TB peripherals.