I think that part of the reason people today demand cheap, disposable furniture is mobility. Paying extra for solid wood, heirloom-quality pieces is all very well if you're certain you won't have to spend hundreds of dollars moving them from place to place multiple times. I've moved over a dozen times in the last ten years. In the halcyon days of three checked suitcases for no extra charge, some of those were by plane, with assistance from U.S. Parcel Post and Media Mail. I can't imagine the hassle of not being able to cheerfully abandon or sell for a pittance most of the furniture I purchased during that time.
Incidentally, I'm sure the cute names for Ikea products serve a marketing function, but they're also functional. Can you imagine if their two dozen different coffee tables were all called something like "glass-topped 3 x 5 wrought-iron table" or "oak-veneer 4 x 2 table with storage drawers"? How easy would that be to remember when you got to the self-serve stacks at the end of the store?