I love em while driving and in my studio if Im doing some tedious stuff like calculations. Obviously with "creative non-fiction" they arent the best (especially for books with lots of technical illustrations or equations).
You seem to have a strong negative opinion about em. Try listening while doing repetitive tasks like cooking or gardening . When I listened to the "GRANT"biography I found it preferred audio delivery because that dam book was ponderous and the reader was quite nicely engaged with discussing history. . Sometimes , if there were unusually ponderous segments, like his discussions about Grants drinking to excess occasionally (usually associated with stressful situations), I did have to re- read the old fashioned way to aid in making his examples "Stick"
When Im painting or sitting over a scope I enjoy listening to stuff like Stephen King or some natty murder mystery. In the back porch sun room, all warm on a cold snowy winter day, I must be reading a novel or a science text.
QAudio books are just another available resource in the delivery of information or entertainment. I dont much think about whether they have a place or not. I think thats been pretty much decided by the market.
Although, I must admit, IM not too fond of kindle versions or books on a screen. Its the eye thing and I really hate the clunky way you are allowed to find a marked page earlier on. I go back and forth in a book quite often but kindle style reading isnt as easy as reading on paper. Other than that, I do sometims use Kindle books when I am crushed for luggage space on a trip. I read "Cartoon County" in a screen format and I enjoyed its delivery of the graphics (of which the book was Loaded with xample cartoons)