It may may be true that Adagio sells mainly to "tea converts" and the idea of making tea in a lidded cup will suprise some of their customers, but I think novelty and utility may speak for themselves. As well, companies that successfully introduce things like that to their customers tend to reap the benefits immediately, granted that they educate their customers well.
As for "Asian" palate and asthetics, I'm not sure if gaiwan have more of that then say, teapots. Still, drinkers of oolong and greens might want their "asthetically Asian" tea in an "asthetically Asian" tea vessel?
That being said, both of you make really excellent points that I have not thought obout. The tea situation in North American, and indeed, many western countries is surprisingly sad. About the only thing you can smell when you walk into a "tea shop" are the zealously perfumed black tes and "herbal" mixtures that they sell. And what's with those plastic tea infusers?