So what is it? What is so repulsive about the functional brake that people will either sacrifice their tires skid-stopping at every light or spend half a grand on aluminum billet monstrosities in order to do without them? Last time I checked, quality, high-end brakes from the usual suspects were not only lightweight and responsive, but reasonably-priced as well. I suppose that may be it--people do seem averse to those qualities when it comes to bicycle equipment.
I for one am thankful that the mountain-biking world still recognizes the need in cycling for braking systems that offer power and modulation, and that as such some companies are still trying to actually improve brakes. You see, when you ride your bike a lot you actually want brakes that work well. I think that if mountain biking were to disappear the next high-end braking system would be a rubber stopper you affix to the heel of your carbon fiber-soled shoe.