I'm fine with using iTunes- though it is limiting on my Eee. My desktop is a Mac Mini, so there is no real limitations for me there.
But I just don't see the point of your arguement. Well, the iPhone bit is bloody obvious. That sucked for early adopters. But Apple is known for their refresh cycle, 6-9 months on pretty much everything. Honestly, props to them for it. It keeps all of their hardware competitive.
I don't think Apple locks their iPods purely for consumer friendliness. It makes everything really easy for us to set up, and for them to program, but it also makes it very easy for DRM rights violations to occur. IE, Apple suddenly deciding to not let you play some song on your iPod.
Apple's track record suggests that they are working to free their media from DRM. iTunes works great with most media players, as long as all your media is DRM-free. So if Apple could drop the DRM, we would have a peach situation. I could use whatever PMP I want, and I don't have to deal with shitty Microsoft/Creative/iRiver software.