The only people who do any kind of tight code for OS and aplications anymore are the people who do closed proprietary systems with limited and usually non upgradable resources. Embedded controllers (something I have done), cell phones, pda's, microwave ovens that kind of stuff. All the major OS's like Linux, windows, mac os , osx, etc are bloated beyond belief because they are built upon high end programming languages not optimized specifically for hardware because they hardware is variable and there are multiple layers between the hardware and the app thats running on it (to protect system integrity etc).
If you look at the c64, 128, amiga's etc you will probably notice that people took many years to sqeeze out all they could from those system and I am sure people to this day are still stretching the hardware of the stock machines. The time constraints of getting new software out these days to stay profitable and the fact that you can patch your software code (unlike consoles where what you ship is what customers are stuck with) makes for sloppy code. We also have to factor in that the days of 1 or 2 people doing the entire code for major commericial games/apps is long gone. You are working with a group of programmers some of who are gods and some suck ass, and all this code they make just slapped together and shipped out the door. Companies also count of the fact that the target system for their software will be x amount faster/more HD space/more memory then what they are using or is available during development.
So yea systems with frozen architecture thats well documented and only does 1 aplication at a time and will be around for 3+ years (talking about consoles) are the best platform to work on and have good fast optimised and reliable code on.
It just so happens AoK (Age of Empires 2 - Age of kings with The Conquerors addon)
is only available for the PC and since I love that game in online multiplayer mode the PC is the system I have to use to play it (yes even with the dreaded keyboard and all the hotkeys I need)
Like I said I have a few consoles with 100's of games i like to play on them.
I dont see why people cant use consoles and pc's for gaming. hell ever see the flaming going on between the xbox, gamecube, ps2 on console boards?
To me a game is like just another app, once I find the app I want to use I make sure I have the system I need to use it on, and I try to use the best OS available/compatible with those needs.