>to say most people shooting with these cameras are not getting better results than they would with say a Nikon Coolpix - I don't agree at all.<
Actually we agree - that was not my point, at all. My point goes not to technical results but to desired results. It really all depends how you define results. I took some killer images with my late, lamented, CP 5700, some that would be nearly impossible with one of the successor DSLRs. I take different pix with the newer cameras. Are the results better? Or are they different? Yes and no to both. Yes, if by result you mean the number of possibilities open once the image is on the computer. In my case, I know there's a smaller upper limit on print size with the CP 5700 images but that is more about its 5Mp sensor size than the camera's form factor. But my output was sized well within the capability of the camera to appear entirely competent and several of them were accepted for publication. So, if the image taken will be only be downsampled for web view or printed to 4x6, then perhaps "better" is not a reasonable metric to consider. In such a case, most of the image goodness will get discarded and divergent differences in camera capabilities will be largely erased. Some differences (DoF, PoV, ISO capabilities, noise signatures, etc.) might remain visible, especially in shots taken at the margins of a camera's abilities.
I suspect you and I are in agreement about our relationship to our tools. I try to use mine to their best advantage up to, and perhaps past what some might consider their limits. But technical limits mean nothing if the output will be so downgraded and hobbled that a lesser camera would be seen to give a result comfortably in the same ballpark, or nearly. The lesser camera will be just fine for most folk and, like it or not, 'most folk' are the ultimate consumer, the 800lb gorilla of the market place. There are more of them and they have more money than the complexity-tolerant DSLR cadre.
Most folk will gravitate to a tool that asks of them no more than they wish to be asked and that does everything they ask and not necessarily any more. I moved on to a D70 from the 5700 and couldn't have been more pleased to do so but I also kept the 5700 in (professional) service until it failed to work any more. Just the same moving on from the D70, and on, and now to the D600. The documentary role of the 5700 has been taken over, largely, by the iPhone with occasional support from the DSLR herd.
These have been heady times for DSLR manufacturers but with all the incredible gains in capabilities, the designs have evolved to a point that there are not that many popularly acknowledged, generally desired but unaddressed needs left to attend to. Substantial further gains will be very difficult (thus expensive) to pull off and, consequently, a hard sell. I suspect we are over the hump and are living in the end times of the DSLR bubble.