So the entire retail machine is designed to get people to ‘trade-up’ to new equipment..?

Yep.

Ask owners of newer gear how they feel about their expensive “superior modern equipment” that often dies just outside of warranty, and is then deemed non-viable to repair.

Read the reviews. Every new piece of gear sounds significantly better than the one preceding it, right? How is it possible then for a 40-year-old amplifier to sound better than a new one? Seriously, try explaining that.

If each year brought significant improvements, older gear would sound awful compared with gear with 40 years of continuous improvement. But it doesn’t. Unfortunately, there is a trick being played on the average consumer and it’s a shame.