Re: Direct X11 looks to be another failure(implementation wise)
In my opinion low end PCs are ONLY the lowest common denominator in casual games like The Sims and some of the more popular MMORPGs. These tend to be in genres where graphics aren't as much the focus anyway. Games where graphics is one of the main selling points were never intended to be sold to casual gamers (on PCs at least), period.
Consoles are definitely holding back first person shooters in almost every way possible. However, there needs to be a change in attitude. I think Crytek has the right idea. Design for PC first and then scale it down for consoles. It seems like if they develop like that, their game engines will be prepared for future generations of consoles as well (it's pretty obvious that games were not taking full advantage of the xbox360 back when it first came out).
As far as DirectX 11 and its adoption rate, it shouldn't really be any surprise as it is basically just DirectX 10 take two. Most of what makes games look truly great can be accomplished through DirectX 9. The big selling point of DirectX 11 looks like tessellation, but it seems like there is a limit in how extensively it can be used considering the power of the hardware. From what I've seen, it doesn't make that big of a difference.