Mind walking me through the process then? I'm missing a few of my iTunes purchases and I'll be damned if I can find an easy way to download them again.
I see a lot of people getting suckered into wasting money on garbage spray-and-pray apps, yes. Whether the average user actually finds anything of value is another matter. IMO finding good apps among all the chaff on the iOS app store is no easier than just googling for them. I wouldn't expect the Mac app store to be any different.
on the second, I agree, but I would class the app store as a success, especially for small developers. On the first, e-mail apple, they can reset you're account to let you re-download everything. In my case I was already on the phone with them when I decided to give up and just wipe the hard drive, so they took care of reseting the account.