it's the idiot developers that don't support the largest install base (aka Intel integrated graphics). DX 7 or 8 graphics level is plenty of eye candy for folks with shitty rigs.
Amen. If PC gaming is going to thrive, the market needs more games which run on more machines. I like eye candy in games as much as most players, but I would rather that more games were created to run well on the hardware I already have than for them to be developed primarily for the next advancement in graphics. As a game platform, a PC should have a lifespan at least as long as that of a game console without needing a major hardware upgrade.
Another thing that will help kill PC gaming is Microsoft and Vista Windows ME 2.0.
Actually Vista will likely boost PC gaming in terms of both game development and sales because Vista's Aero interface will force the low-end PC's sold at retail to finally have video which supports at least shader model 2.0. That will significantly raise the minimum bar and provide a base of more PC's which can run games that require shader support.