builders of cheap commodity tract housing to equip the new housing supply with the tacky look their tasteless moron customers demanded.
Going off topic, but whatever :p
I'm generally irritated by how things that are cheaper, faster, and easier for contractors to put together housing get pushed as better and become 'standard' and expected.
It hasnt been for the past 5-10 years that asphalt shingles have started to come with 40-50 year warranties, getting them on par with steel roofs, and older roofing methods. Obviously slate, copper and whatnot are quite costly due to lots of manual labor and expensive materials, but there is concrete roofing tile, which is way more durable, etc...
Textured ceilings over proper drywall work, fiberglass shower inserts (with seams which the caulk rots out and still leaks) instead of actually tiling it correctly, vinyl siding instead of brick, fiberglass bat insulation over spray foam (this one is debatable, but you can still get R-20 in a 2x4 wall instead of R-13). Various water pipe technologies (QWEST/polybutlene which actually ended up with a class action lawsuit and getting houses re-plumbed because it was garbage) Aluminum branch wiring in the 70's
And the 'good stuff' would be cheaper if it were more common and it wasnt a specialty to get it used/installed