Stephen Stigler  compares least-squares methods to the iPhone:
In the United States many consumers are entranced by the magic of the new iPhone, even though they can only use it with the AT&T system, a system noted for spotty coverage — even no receivable signal at all under some conditions. But the magic available when it does work overwhelms the very real shortcomings. Just so, least-squares will remain the tool of choice unless someone concocts a robust methodology that can perform the same magic, a step that would require the suspension of the laws of mathematics.
In other words, least-squares, like the iPhone, works so well when it does work that it’s OK that it fails miserably now and then. Maybe so, but that depends on context.
In his quote, Stigler argues that Americans feel that missing a phone call occasionally is an acceptable trade-off for the features of the iPhone. Many people would agree. But if you’re If you’re on a transplant waiting list, you might prefer more reliable coverage to a nicer phone.
It’s not enough to talk about probabilities of failure without also talking about consequences of failure. For example, the consequences of missing a phone call are greater for some people than for others.
Least-squares is a mathematically convenient way to place a cost on errors: the cost is proportional to the square of the size of the error. That’s often reasonable in application, but not always. In some applications, the cost is simply proportional to the size of error. In other applications, it doesn’t matter how large an error is once it above some threshold. Sometimes the cost of errors is asymmetric: over-estimating has a different cost than under-estimating by the same amount. Sometimes you’re more worried about the worst case than the average case. One size does not fit all.
 Stephen M. Stigler, The Changing History of Robustness, American Statistician, Vol. 64, No. 4. November 2010. (Written before Verizon announced it would be supporting the iPhone)