I don't think we were saying it was NEVER a useful feature, just that it was not a particularly useful feature, and certainly not for the workplace environments mentioned in the initial comment.
Shared hosting yes because the provider in shared hosting isn't really an admin. The provider can never say "NO" and has no responsibility to ensure that individual applications work. Their only real responsibility is make sure the lights are on.
Corporate environments no, because the server admins are required to approve deployment which is directly connected to their responsibility to keep servers updated and verify that security updates don't break any deployed applications.
For something that advertises itself as a "free software distribution of the GNU system" user installed packages seems a less useful feature.