No there is not a real alternative, things sure could have gone better though. I was being somewhat facetious. I'm obviously using a browser for lwn.net. I've actually been following NaCl for sometime, and anxiously await some means to achieve some of its goals.
Being a little silly yes, but I was alluding to the under discussed culture clash between the ideas of the web generation and the system & application programming generation that has nothing to do with age (I'm 29 for instance, while some of biggest web advocates I know are in their late 50s). There is no way a browser will ever replace multiuser, protected memory OS. Even if that were - windows. I may be in a dying breed, but I'm here to the end. I'll turn out the light on the last copy of *nix just before I retire, and let you kids with your browser in bios, iphone, or whatever wonder what it was like when computers were fun.