Although I did appreciate the tongue and cheek nature of the article - it was midly amusing. I really think it missed the mark. I think software vendors are often unfairly picked-on for bugs. I run a small software company and we develop manufacturing software. Yes, we have bugs. Yes we ask customers to pay annual maintenance and support. We fix bugs and we work damn hard to make sure our customers are productive. And they are. Our customers tell us they could not do what they do without our software. And the the same is true of CAD software/PLM - for many it is a critical and highly productive part of the engineering and manufacturing process despite the bugs.
Oh and by the way, it is fine to blame the CAD vendor for the bugs - I don't know how many times we have spent hours and hours helping customers with problems to then show up on site and find out they install every piece of crap shareware and virus infected freeware on their computer and they wonder why they have problems. Or that every user has admin priveliges and has "treaked" every driver and setting on the system until it no longer makes sense. Users have a responsibility here too.
As for hardware not having bugs, well, I'm on my third DVD player in as many years, my new car is back at the dealer 4 times a year and I can't say how many power tools and kitchen devices have been put out to the curb after a year or so. Your CAD system may have some bugs, but if you have a good vendor/reseller then you will get years, maybe 10+ of good use out of it - of course you need to pay your upgrade/maintenance fee. I can tell you, the cost of maintaining a car for 10 years costs a fair penny.
Lastly, we often have to field complaints about why the software costs thousands, why you have to pay maintenance fees - after all, it costs nothing to make a new CD right? It is very expensive to develop software - and your analogy to drugs is meaningful here. The drug industry also charges huge fees for drugs that cost pennies to "duplicate". However, like the software industry - have massive upfront R&D and engineering costs. Unfortunately, unlike the drug industry - the software industry faces widespread theft of its product thru unlicensed duplication. In the end, all users pay for this theft. However, this is where the analogy fails - firstly, by and large the CAD industry improves manufacturing process, improves competitiveness by lowering costs - it adds real value. If you have known anyone who has suffered from drug addiction I am sure you would realize this is not the case.
I'm not saying the software industry is perfect, I'm sure there are software companies out there that are milking their customers and not providing good support. But I have to say, the bulk of the software companies we deal with are far, far, better than the automotive and hard goods companies that I have personal experience with.