It's a sales tool. The DX and HM's and AK's are not. They are not expressly linked with with a music sales service. Thats the Apple model and as an alternative to that PONO gets credit. It's not the fact people cannot stand a player backed by a musician, it's the fact that it is being hyped as the only alternative out there. Read the interviews and clearly Mr. Young wishes us to believe that high resolution audio does not exist outside of his system I find that very misleading and almost predatory, playing to the average music listeners ignorance of high res playback hardware and software.
I have no opinion on the device itself until it hits market. I just think people should be aware of the whole picture and judge it's value accordingly when it does hit market.
I also get your point, but you don't need to buy expensive music to use it, I am going to fill it with mp3 songs since like I have said before I cannot tell the difference between mp3 and other formats, but I truly believe that sound quality is affected by a well implemented dac and amp section so personally I am going after the hardware and UI of the Pono, so I really don't get all the hate that Neil Young and its creation is getting.