Considering how prevalent cookie theft is over unsecured WiFi I'd say that there is a huge case for encrypted communications even if they aren't authenticated.
Sure, there is always the risk of MITM but at least you force the attacker to make an active attack, which then creates the opportunity to detect the hacker. Just have a few police stings in campus coffee shops or whatever and I bet you'd have some impact on the practice.
I'm amazed sometimes at the XOR approach we take towards security - either very secure but lots of cost/hurdles, or absolutely and completely insecure. A better approach is to provide a tiered system where everybody can work out how secure is secure enough for a particular application. Use DNSSEC and stick the required security level (as well as certificates) in the DNS record for a site and you have a standard way of ensuring the client and server are on the same page where security is important.