1) Depends on the manufacturer.
2) I don't know about all warehouse clubs, but Costco has a very generous and forgiving return policy.
3) True as far as that goes, but how much technical support do modern consumer grade surveillance kits really need, anyway? I'm here to tell you, not much.
4) Many manufacturers recognize this, and have been working on ways to make their systems idiot resistant, if not idiot proof. Lorex, for example, has this new Stratus thing that makes getting your DVR or NVR online simple. Open the box, run the wires, download the app to your smartphone, scan the QR code printed on a sticker on the DVR, follow the prompts to change the default username and password, and then go make yourself a sandwhich. Done. If you can't operate a smartphone, you can't operate a DVR either no matter how simple to use it is.
5) Rarely true anymore. D1 at 30FPS is the most common resolution now.
6) Bah. Without kicking off a nerdfight over CMOS v CCD, most of these kits are used in short range, relatively well lit applications.
7) Very true, probably my biggest beef with these systems. Why cheap out on cable, of all things?
8) My other beef, especially since the box says something like "OMG 180 foot night vision range, holy cow!!!!!!"
9) You say "substandard", I say "good enough for most purposes". Potato, po-tah-to.
10) Wait a minute, we just went over this in point number six.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of the El Cheapo Guangzhou Specials, but I strongly believe that it's better than no surveillance at all, which is, realistically speaking, the other alternative.
Also, I've been installing cameras since the VCR days. I would have killed any one of you for access to cameras of this quality. Seriously. 30FPS at D1 resolution, filling the screen edge to edge? In color? Weeks and weeks of video storage? Not available at any price 15 years ago. And now you can pick up a package with camera, recorder, and cable from the same place where you can buy milk and eggs and wheel of cheese the size of a truck tire, for a couple hundred bucks. Amazing.