Using his blue box, Steve Wozniak once called the Vatican (for free), and, imitating Henry Kissinger’s voice, asked if he could speak with the pope. The pope turned out to be asleep. Wozniak pulled these pranks together with Steve Jobs, with whom he’d found Apple computer not long after. Oh, how the times have changed. How can a company with its roots in phreaking, pranks, and home-made computing end up the way it is today?
Perhaps the problem is not Apple, but rather your hope that a computer/electronics company will fill a spiritual/emotional void of yours.
Re: the frying pan — “… but it doesn’t exactly make my heart fill itself with longing”. Correct — a frying pan won’t do that. Why do you expect anything more out of a computer or music player? They’re just mass-produced inanimate objects made of plastic and metal.
I understand the emotional attachment to companies that people (mostly people who sit on their computers all day) develop. WHY? They’re just a company. They’re in the business of making money, nothing more.