Does anyone else think the public perception of Bitcoin is a get rich quick scheme ("free money with my computer!") more than an electronic currency?
I think it is both, because all currencies are both. That's what the whole cash market is all about. The only exception is the "with my computer part". Currencies are speculation, that's one of the main reason for them to be such an interesting market. Take foreign currency loans as an example. I guess most buyers use them for speculation at this time, but that's just because Bitcoins aren't established by now.
See the anti-deflation people and think about the Euro. It had a huge rise at the beginning and recently there was this crash. Lots of people made a whole lot of money, because they knew a few simple things:
Europe or the currency won't simply cease to exist.
Greece won't either.
The price is still WAY higher than it has been just some time ago when everyone was afraid of the high Euro causing a recession, because it'd stop import.
China and the US are even artificially lowering the price for their currencies to increase income.
Same thing for the financial crisis. Every sane person knew the best thing was to lower the prices for stocks and currencies by scaremongering (just like what you see in this forum right now), while buying the cheap stuff. There is no real reason behind this. It's not like all big corporations would suddenly disappear. Well, smaller ones maybe, but all shares dropped in price, even the ones from huge corporations. Yeah, of course they'd make less money for now, but of a comparatively short time period you'll see a huge growth. Just watch long-term charts, where you can see other recessions.
But actually this is basic stuff everyone should learn in school. It is a natural thing for a healthy(!) market that it always changes between recessions and booms. There is always some cause, like a trigger, but that's because the whole thing isn't perfect, else markets wouldn't at all be interesting for speculators.
So actually recessions are a good thing for Bitcoin. They are opposed to a real, permanent crash. All people know there isn't an infinite growth, but over the long run there is something that comes close to it. This will at least be true until all Bitcoins have been generated.
It is a bit unclear what happens afterwords, but we'll see it by then. It still takes a while until we reach that point.