Retail sucks but I see their point
My wife and I both have iPhones and she's got a MacBook Pro. (I'm the old fart lugging around the ThinkPad...) Whenever we've gone to Apple for help we haven't had any issues, but I think that's because we're nice reasonable people. In our experience, if you buy the warranty or have a legitimate problem during the manufacturer's warranty, they'll try to make things right. That's part of the price -- even my old fart ThinkPad with the accidental damage protection means that I can get a Lenovo guy to show up next day to fix something...and the laptop is about twice the price of Lenovo's crappy consumer machines.
That said, I can corroborate some of the stories in that thread. I've heard lots and lots of iTantrums whenever I've brought our things in to be looked at. It's usually business types whining about how important their work is and how they need a new device *right now* or the typical know-nothing consumer who feels they have the right to yell for buying an expensive phone. Telling someone under 30 that they'll be without social media in their pockets for a few days is like a prison sentence apparently.
Apple's in an interesting spot with their stores -- they don't just sell computers, they sell the Portal to Your Life for many people. Losing a phone or the data on it is pretty traumatic and Apple does their best to hide complexity from users that might allow them to recover things on their own.