A forum topic over of road.cc asked: "do we need carbon"? In relation to road bikes. We don't but most us really do.
A friend of mine bought an Avalon guitar a while back. Cost in excess of £2000. He plays Oasis and Beatles songs (same thing I suppose) and he feels like John Lennon for the night.
He's a very average guitarist. He'll never reach an ability where he will truly appreciate the instrument. He'll never be whizzing up and down the frets, picking and sliding, bashing and banging - wringing out everything the instrument has to offer. But he feels good playing it.
A talented guitarist can make any guitar sound amazing - with a good set of strings and through a good amp.
When Sean Kelly was asked "what's the best bike you ever had" he answered "The one they paid me the most to ride".
Sean Kelly had the ability to make any bike 'go' - with a good groupset & wheelset.
Personally I haven't the ability to ever appreciate what a £4000 bike has to offer. I can appreciate a good Titanium frame with a good groupset/wheelset though - that's about my level.
Do we (average Joes) need carbon? Probably not. But it just might make you feel like Fausto Coppi on a Sunday morning.
The road up to Castellania, Italy.