If you’re going to bring up death of the parser-based graphic adventures and the advent of point-and-click adventures as a comparison for IF, then it seems clear that parser IF is done for, because Twine and Texture and CYOA and Choice Of are the equivalent of point-and-click adventures.
Yet parser IF is still alive and kicking and, as Worldsmith shows, there are still people willing to even try and make it go commercial, and people who are not IF gurus like Short and Plotkin.
More and more I wonder whether we should cater to an audience that probably will never really be interested in parser IF. Make it more accessible, yes, by all means. Provide shortcuts, tutorials, I guess, why not. But surely there comes a point at which we have to say, look, this is what parser IF is. If you still aren’t interested, you’re better off playing other games.
Funny thing, as with all niche things, parser IF seems to survive because people never really let it die out - there’s always newcomers. But they are the sort of newcomer that would like parser IF, because the sort that doesn’t isn’t going to come around to it however much you gild the lilly.
Having said all that: you’re probably not talking to the right crowd. Of COURSE we’re all going to defend the prompt, we’ve gotten so used to it, and games that change the prompt momentarily subvert our expectations and throw us a bit. Like Draconis said, it serves a function and we’ve gotten used to it.
Let me also bring up another minor point: in I7 it’s trivial - trivial - to change the command prompt. I7 has brought a number of newbies. Yet virtually no one - so few people as to hardly count - has seen the need to change the prompt.
There are entry barriers in parser IF. I read about it all the time; people trying the wrong sort of command, people trying to refer to things that aren’t there, people who bought the illusion of total freedom the parser gives you at the beginning. People who aren’t used to the conventions. Those are serious barriers (and again, if after a tutorial people still haven’t got it and quit the game and gone elsewhere, I say let them go rather than force them to enjoy something they just don’t). The prompt? Pretty small potatoes, innit?