There are plenty of ways to protect the consumer if the consumer doesn't want to protect themselves, and I'm sure they will come to Bitcoin when it makes sense.
Well yeah, there are ways to protect the consumer. One of those tools is escrow.
However, I find it very irresponsible to market bitcoins without any extra layer as a more consumer friendly option to payments. They simply aren't.
OT's latest version (with smart contracts) comes with a sample script that does a two-way trade between Alice and Bob. Arbitrated escrow isn't much more -- I'll work up a script tonight and check it into github. (This was on my list for today already, in fact.) Here's what I'm thinking:
The existing sample script takes X units of currency A from Alice and Y units of currency B from Bob. If both are successful, then it gives Alice's money to Bob, and gives Bob's money to Alice. (They are atomic, success or failure.)
The new contract will introduce a third party: the arbitrator. This will be a real escrow contract, which assumes there is some offline sale happening (ex. You are sending a guitar to someone in another state...) The contract must include the precondition and the postcondition. After the parties have signed the contract and activated it, X funds from Alice will be stashed inside the contract for 30 days, and then automatically transferred to Bob. If, during that 30 day period, Alice decides that Bob has not shipped her the guitar, she can trigger the dispute clause, which sends notices to Bob and the Arbitrator. She must send her evidence when she does this. After this, the funds will remain stashed in the contract for another 7 days, awaiting a Decision from the Arbitrator. If the arbitrator does not respond in X days, then the money goes back to Alice automatically. Otherwise the arbitrator may trigger a clause deciding the matter one way or the other. Some arbitration fee will be listed in the contract, along with any additional fee should Dispute() be triggered. There will also be clauses allowing the arbitrator to query Bob and Alice for additional information. Calling these will add a day or two to the 7 day timeout period.
You will be able to test the contract on your own machine, or use the OT test server to play around with it. If you have any thoughts on the above, please let me know so I can work them into the script.