Most hardware-knowledgeable folks have realized there is no need for separate graphics capabilities from what a modern cpu should be able to render.
You are a crazyfool, even Half-life 1 quality graphics are ridiculously difficult to render in software. Without a graphics card you'll end up with little better than PS 1 graphics capability, worse yet you'll waste weeks of man hours programming and testing that shit...
A smart business man would try to make his software fit as many hardware platforms as possible including people with fast new computers but with limited video options.
You're totally right, they totally should have spent more time working on the software renderer for Doom 3, Half-life 2, WoW, and [insert successful 3d computer game here]. Those games all totally bombed, and their requirement of a $50 graphics card was the reason!
As fast as modern processors are, they simply aren't designed for realtime 3d rendering (shaders and all) like GPU's are, the processing structure is totally different
. I can't emphasize this enough.
Furthmore, the idea of creating a modern 3d engine in any reasonable amount of time without using direct 3D or openGL (and all the hardware that goes into support those API's) would be.. unreasonable...
I eat pasta!