Noted and accepted as a valid premise, but now the roughly 2-5% who will experience a hard drive failure pay a MUCH higher price for repairs, since drive failure is the kind of thing that is likely to occur post-AppleCare.
That, in itself, is probably not a good enough reason to build in easy access, but the point is that Apple's choice is not without consequences for the user. You are satisfied with the choices of trade-offs Apple has made in the design of the iMac. Some of us would prefer that they sacrificed some of the aesthetic choices instead and focussed on greater utility.
The difference is in the type of user. Apple appears to be targeting buyers for whom a computer is just another small appliance, like an espresso machine or panini press. Those whose computer is chosen more like carpentry tools are frustrated because the only choices are a geezly expensive behemoth or switching to Windows.
I don't know if it's that complicated. What Apple has done is the equivalent of a auto maker deciding that their car looks nicer and could be made sleeker if it didn't have a hood (bonnet for those on that side of the pond). The fact that most drivers never open it anyway doesn't make it a good choice. Eventually the battery is going to die, and replacing it is gonna be a BITCH.
We accept such trade-offs in inexpensive, disposable devices because their cost doesn't justify the time and effort required to repair them. An Apple computer hardly qualifies as "inexpensive."
I make no such claim, however I do have preferences and will continue to lobby my preferred supplier to accommodate them. User feedback has brought about many positive changes to a variety of hardware and software products over the last few years, like, for example, all the features added to FCPX and Tim Cook's promise of a computer for pros. Letting Apple know that we like their products and want to continue buying them, but that we still want to be able to do rudimentary upgrades/repairs ourselves, is not the same as believing we can "dictate" to Apple.