I think it's a great thing that stylistic boundaries are stretched, sometimes to the point where the original meaning of a style becomes almost irrelevant, but it does mean that it's difficult for someone to decide whether or not they're going to like a beer when they're considering what to buy. If I like Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA am I going to like Greene King IPA? A similar point can be made about colour in that it doesn't dictate flavour - all though much of the time if you read the label it tries to do exactly that. 'Delicious amber ale?' Maybe my palate is faulty because I can't taste colours? Malty and hoppy are useful terms as at first glance but they're no more helpful for narrowing down the choice than say 'red or white' when it comes to wine. Country? Well, looking at the winners list from the recent World Beer Cup makes it fairly obvious that flavours generally have nothing to do with geographical origin.
Obviously in pubs this is less of a problem, any decent pub will offer samples before sale, although bear in mind (you're still in irregular drinker mode remember) many people will find it difficult to describe what beer it is they like - even to the point where they are intimidated my being asked. Add to this that, like it or not, more drinking is being done at home, and therefore from the bottle (poured into an appropriate glass of course). It seems to me that many of the beers in the 'Speciality' section (and I hate that term) of your local supermarket are going to struggle to stand out from one another, and that might send people right back to the familiar.
Comments appreciated - the blog post was long enough without me rattling out more of my thoughts!