The whole idea of this project is to keep the cost low and provide a product best suited for the educational market. From what I've read (and I've been following the project online for some time) the thinking is that it will provide a low cost unit that students can use throughout their computer science studies. Essentially allowing students to once again program computers in high schools rather than using Word, Excel etc etc.
Most computer networks do not allow students access to such programming tools because of the risk to their network and so on.
This is only my understanding of the project.
Obviously, the end product itself can have many more uses, I plan to buy one to use as a HTPC.
I know the people over at R-Pi have but great thought into the components they are using because they really want to hit the publicised end price tag. Even down to selection of components not only based on price, but price including the robot fitting it to the board etc.
From everything I've read on their site I have complete faith in them.
If you have posted a negative comment here without taking the time to read the blog on the site to understand the process they have already gone through then I highly recommend you do.
If nothing else, it's a very interesting read.