You made some good points in the original post and tried to throw out some reasons you understand the shortcomings but that there are still flaws that you can't tolerate. Some have tried to address issues which you already say you understand like being an early adopter and the lack of apps. Here are the points that you are missing and have asked for help trying to understand. Others here have touched on these but maybe you need it a little more concise.
The Surface RT is not a laptop so that comparison is moot. The Surface Pro is not a laptop in form so that comparison is also moot. Sticking with your points about the Pro for a moment, corporate cost is often much higher for a business unit than what a consumer pays for a personal unit. Sometimes this is because of different specs which don't necessarily make the device better from a performance standpoint but are needed in a business environment (e.g. vga port and optical drive). So yes you can end up with a business machine that is more expensive and less powerful than a consumer model. On top of that in both the business world and consumer world, size and portability increase the cost. So since the Pro is a tablet and not a bulky business laptop, that does equate to a higher price for equivalent spec. Just the way it works.
Now jumping to Windows 8, it seems you have not made peace with Windows new direction and have yet to understand the new paradigm. The desktop is useful and the Mordern UI is useful. This is both for tablets and laptops/PCs. I didn't get it at first either but there is no split personality they both do actually make sense. It sounds like you are comfortable with the desktop but not Modern UI. Once it clicks with you the Windows tablets (both versions of the Surface and all others) will make more sense.
So to tie this all back to the Surface RT. It is a tablet like the iPad or Android tablets. It is not a laptop and you do not need the full desktop abilities because of this, since that isn't its purpose. As a tablet under Modern UI it is exactly like the other tablets. You make the argument that it falls short of them on two points, 1. on lack of apps though you said you understand they will get there so by your own admission this should be a moot point and 2. price because you say if it is just a tablet with fewer apps then it isn't worth the price. On point 2 you also allude to compromised performance compared to other tablets but you never said where the Surface was so much worse other than apps.
It has already been said price wise the Surface is in line for various reasons. The screen is in the middle range, the storage size is at the upper end, the kickstand is unique, the case is excellent in quality and it has expandable storage, a full size usb and unique keyboard options. It has also been recently revealed that Windows RT isn't optimized for the processor so it should only get faster. I don't think you can make any argument the hardware isn't on par with other devices in the price range.
Back to the software. Once you understand Modern UI and that Surfcace RT is like any other tablet has good hardware and the apps are coming that should be enough for most people to be happy. Add in other hardware perks above are enough to make the Surface RT a top of the class tablet. It has a whole other bag of tricks ups its sleeve though that those other tablets can't touch. It has a desktop that includes Microsoft Office! This is huge really, really big. You get desktop management you are used to with the files system, the most widely used productivity suite on the planet and the ability to do all the things that people have been complaining about and wanting to to on iPads and Android tablets for years, all baked in.
I know mind blown right? Ok maybe not exactly but when you think about what people are expecting, the Surface RT which is just a tablet, to be a laptop that says a lot about how capable the tablet really is. That is is mind blowing part, that the tablet is so good people expect it to be a laptop in its capabilities. However that is what the Surface Pro and other full laptops are for.
If you want the tablet that can do things no other tablet can in terms of pc like functionality and the ability to use Office then Surface RT is really the only tablet that fits the bill. iPad and Android are compromises that will work but you have to use alternate office suites and you have to figure out how to integrate that into your pc workflow. Because of that all of the tablets in this range are not professional devices. At best they are prosumer devices suited to home office and college use that are stretched to meet full business demands and do that only with varying degrees of success. If you are a home office or student this is great and probably all you need.
If you are a business and you do need more you can get any device running Windows 8. This could be desktop, laptop, hybrid or tablet. Choose what suits you best. If that is a cool sleek tablet that goes by the name Surface Pro then you can expect to pay more. If you don't want to pay the premium then get a Dell business pro-xyz that weighs 8 lbs and comes in a square plastic case.
The Surface RT has its place if you have the right mind frame, figure out how to make Windows 8 work for you, need more productivity that the "average" tablet but don't expect it to be a top of the line road warrior business pro device.