9 years later
This is quite an old post. I just wanted to update you.
Blank keyboard seems to be a huge craze among typists and pc gamers alike. Das even holds typing competition, where they feature their prized blank mechanical keyboards.
I currently use a blank mechanical keyboard myself, I also type in both Dvorak and Qwerty (the blank keys helped a lot when i was learning Dvorak, and prevented confusion during the transition to Dvorak). While I cannot say that using blank keyboards will increase typing speed or accuracy, I can definitely agree to the cool factor playing a heavy hand in influencing me to take the blank key route.
Another advantage is, as stated above, transitioning between keyboard layouts if the user chooses or decides to undertake a new venture as such.
Obviously having a blank set of keys will not appeal to the masses, especially in helping educators introduce the computer to beginners. However, during my research into how to type in Dvorak, I found many enthusiasts, and full forums discussing the benefits and rewarding feeling about using blank keyboards.
While I do agree that this style of keyboard did not explode or boom in popularity over the last 9 years, I must also disagree with you; due to the people I have met and all the communities I have seen whome all love their blank keyboards. It seems that blank keyboard enthusiasts like me are growing in numbers from year to year.
While I can go back to using a labeled standard keyboard, I take pride in having the option to freely not have to.
p.s. Wow those prices you stated are amazing. Prices now range from 100 - 300 for a blank mechanical keyboard. Maybe I should have looked into this 9 years ago lol.