I agree that software companies today are much more tolerant of the notion of releasing new titles which contain bugs than they used to be. To a certain extent I can understand that, given that the programs are much more complex than they used to be, and thus the bugs can be much more difficult to trigger in the first place. Also, since the number of possible variations in the hardware from one PC to another has greatly increased over the years, problems which might occur only for certain configurations can be very difficult to discover unless you just happen to be developing the program under that same configuration. To come reasonably close to preventing that from happening, much more time, effort and money would need to be spent in playtesting and debugging than is likely to make economic sense.
Unfortunately, most companies developing games are too likely to release a game when their "due date" arrives (whether self-imposed, or imposed by a publisher), rather than when it has been tested to a reasonable degree. This is where the fact that many reviews now discuss the bugs comes in handy, as far as I'm concerned. The reviewers save me from having to risk paying full retail for a game that works poorly, if at all. If a promising title comes out which is badly bug-ridden, I simply don't buy it, at least not at that "premium" price. If I'm going to have to hunt for a patch in order to run the game at all, then I'm not paying full retail for it - I can wait till it's featured in the local bargain bin. If it's TRULY buggy and the developer consistently puts out badly buggy titles, I'll skip it altogether. If the publisher's eventually figure out that people won't pay full retail for a product that is rushed to market with huge flaws, maybe something will begin to change. If the next big game took another 3 - 6 months to be finished, but I could count on it working when it was released, I wouldn't mind the delay at all. Heck, I might even be willing to pay more for it, if I knew it was a solid release.