Using a middle man for anything means you have to feed his family as well as the two who want to do business. How can adding a third person in between a direct connection every lower the price of anything?
I don't think the argument is that it lowers the price, but it CAN increase the utility for one or both sides of the transaction. For bitcoin, the obvious utility-enhancing middle-man possibility is online wallets that confirm transactions instantly (thereby taking the double-spend risk) and not requiring the customer to wait 10+mins. Yes, cost is slightly higher, but utility is higher too, and for some, that outweighs the cost.
The point is that with BTC there are options. You can elect to do a native peer-to-peer transaction on the underlying network, and no one can stop you from doing so. That's a HUGE win. But if you want to pay for some add-on services, that's fine too.
You got it.
Needing permission to buy something, using a money system that is weakening by the day, with the same downward spiral in value we have seen coming for years, is not for me. ( dollars ).
The utility is great and I am willing to pay for it, as long as it is reasonable. Paying 2.6 percent plus 30 cents on every transaction is not just no longer necessary, it is greedy. With the advances in smart software and programming, all someone needs to do is to make a better exchange site similar to things like bitinstant or aurumxchange and charge less. They would become heroes.