Actually I see this as a double edged sword. On one hand you get the service you need but on the other you have to make an appointment to get your devices even swapped out and if they are busy this can be days. I would prefer just to be able to walk in and get serviced.
The last time I booked at appointment was to get a iPad swapped out and they kept me waiting 45 mins past my appointment time. I saw so many of them having casual conversations with people and having no good place to stand in the shop it was getting quite annoying. When my time finally came it only took 5 mins...
I understand your frustration with time.
But hey, I have had Samsung, Nokia, Sony and all sorts of other companies that don't have a place or a person to represent them, help with tech support (unless it over the phone which was a nightmare) or any of the awesome stuff possible wih apple.
If you wanted to use warranty or get help it was always a phone call, confusing, and ship it off to see if its covered, and wait and wait and see..
I'd much rather set an appointment with apple and wait there than have send off in the mail, or go to best buy or whatever other round about way.