Yeah, in 2013 all things work in some way automatic, talk with each other using DBUS, and adding abstraction layers where before none were necessary.
I'm running Slackware, which has beautiful simple init scripts. Back in the day, I simply edited my xf86config and entered what video card I have, how my screen looks like, etc, and my system did just that.
I plugged in an audio card, and I had a plain stupid /dev/dsp.
Nowadays I plug stuff together, and hope some magic autodetects it and does what I want it to do.
Yes, we can do more today than 15 years ago, but it has not really become easier to understand and debug.