I agree completely, Devin. Computers, in general, are extremely technical and most people - even those in IT - don't "really" know how they work under the hood. If you say electromagnetism to the average computer tech or network administrator, he'll say, "what's that have to do with computers?" Yet, SOHO wireless router manufactures (let alone SOHO wireless controllers) put terms in their configuration interfaces like "fragmentation threshold" and "beacon frame interval" when there should be a simple mode that says "optimize for performance" done! It really can be that simple for a home with a single WLAN gateway.
The reality is that though many MS bashers are out there, the WLAN market could learn much from MS and their interfaces. Windows is simple easy to use (well, with the exception of Vista }:-@). Cisco's management interfaces are far too complex and Symbol's (Motorola) aren't much better.
In addition, WLAN vendors should actually market to these home markets you speak about. If they would let the average home user know that they need more than one AP for a 2400 square foot multi-level home, they might be interested - of course, they would have to focus on the benefits and not the technical features and that's something that most vendors in the IT world have a VERY big problem doing.
Finally, the reality is simple: if the whole solution (controller and APs included) costs more than $1000 very few home users will be interested. When they feel their current networks are slow and the price the upgrade to a "fast" and centrally managed network at more than $1000, their current networks won't seem so slow.
Let's see if a vendor can some up with a 4 lightweight AP model with centralized controller/Internet gateway for $699 by the end of 2007. Anyone up to the challenge?
BTW - You could build this solution in your basement using other vendors APs (you'd just have to write code that sends HTTPS strings to the devices to configure them since cheapo APs wouldn't likely support full remote management through SNMP) and a Linux-based network appliance that you create out of a $250 cheapo desktop computer. Of course, you'll still have to learn all about interface design and usability so you can create that interface Devin and users around the world long for. I'd say someone who knows wireless and PHP coding could get it done in... say... two weeks. Good luck.