And it would be interesting if someone could quantify the total rig cost, distribution, sales of hardware, and generating power. This would tell everyone whether it is a bubble.
The problem with this, which you know already, is that distribution, hardware and power are all priced in currencies other than Bitcoins. And there's no realistic way to determine the value of Bitcoins in relation to those currencies except via trial and error, known as "price discovery". You can try, of course. But you will get ridiculous results like Vladimir offering to grow carrots at 1000x the market price. I could give you a price in Bitcoins for building a factory that makes silicon wafers to create Bitcoin miners and photovoltaics. But that price would be pretty high. Because the Bitcoin economy isn't good at creating things like computers and electricity. It's good at creating digital currency. So it trades for everything else. And this is the best way to proceed because we don't know the direct equation for determining the value of digital currency in relation to things like computers and electricity.
Regardless, I mostly agree with you. I like the analogy of "culture" to an economy. In English, culture has two definitions. One means "people's habits". The other means "bacteria". That's not a coincidence. Successful human cultures are built upon untold numbers of tiny invisible pieces, like bacteria, fostering symbiotic relationships, and circular resource flows. Unsuccessful ones, ones that look more like bubbles, are built upon total dependence on external inputs and one-way processes. Many modern societies are completely devoid of culture. They have fake lawns, fake houses, fake businesses, fake people, and fake currencies. The entire society is built upon nothing. There are no bacteria at the base of the society to recycle materials and close the loop, only the dead remains of bacteria that lived long ago, and which now fuel their fake automobiles to take them to the fake shopping mall to stimulate the fake economy. Some even go so far as to invent non-existent bacteria, living deep below their feet, supporting their entire fake society. It won't end, they tell themselves, because there have to be bacteria there, somewhere. They can't come to terms with the fact that everything around them is one big bubble. They have no habits. Nothing is constant. It's just one bubble after another, leading to an inevitable final *pop*.
Whether Bitcoin is a bubble or whether it develops a culture and closes the loop remains to be seen. I think it has at least as good a chance as most.