Sure - but there was a time when all you could buy was Budweiser, Miller, Coors, Schlitz and Hamm's (I need to find that article, too). Starbuck's exists for the same reason - it's the coffee that's always about right.
But fuckin' A if it weren't for Starbuck's there'd be no Caribou Coffee (better), Coffee Bean (better), Tully's (better and owned outright by Starbucks!) or the million and one independent shops. When I was growing up there was nowhere to get a cup of coffee except the gas station. But by the time I was in 10th grade there was a little cafe and by the time I was a sophomore in college there was a bloody Starbuck's and by the time I graduated there were eight cafes in my home town of 20,000 people.