Yes, I completely understand your viewpoint and it is valid and eloquently laid out!What I meant was that anyone with even a little experience buying video cards would have a certain expectation. If someone has literally never bought a card before, then yes, they're screwed no matter what and no amount of logic in the part numbers will matter.
I used the home appliance analogy because most of us know the brand-names like Whirlpool, GE, Bosch, LG, Samsung, Miele, Electrolux, etc. but we don't know much else and so we can look at the home appliance market and understand how most people see the video card market. If we had a model that worked really well for us and was very long-lived, we would want to buy something similar to replace it. We don't know all of the specs between the different models and so we've vulnerable to the manufacturers doing shady things. The problem here is that it has the same high-end look and is 23% less expensive but it's not nearly what the previous model was because it's now three years later.
I'll use a variation on my own situation because this is what could go wrong...
My best friend bought an RTX 3080 (not because he likes RT but because he's an FS2020 nut) and just a little while later, I bought my RX 6800 XT. We would jokingly rib each other about it and we have a lot of fun with "being on different teams" (which means nothing to us but it gives us an excuse to give each other a hard time).
So, let's say another couple of friends are in the same situation but aren't knowledgeable enthusiasts, they just love their AAA titles. So, the friend with the RTX 3080 (I'll call him NG) upgrades to an RTX 4080 and shows it off to his friend (I'll call him AR). So, AR gets afflicted with "Keeping up with the Joneses" syndrome because he wants to be able to keep up the fun ribbing that can only occur if he and GN have rival cards.
He assumes that the RX 6800 XT was succeeded by the RX 7800 XT (and who could blame him for that?), is very pleased to see that it's only $500 and buys it. A week later, he shows it off to his RTX 4080 friend, who is obviously impressed because he also assumes that the RX 7800 XT is the successor of the RX 6800 XT and thus the rival of the RTX 4080. The two friends game as they did without any noticeable issues for a month or two but AR starts getting this weird feeling, like his new card isn't performing as well as it should because he sees GN's system running games at 4K with ease while his card struggles at 4K. Something's not right and AR begins to think that his card is defective because there's no way that this new card rival's GN's like it should. To him, it's clearly underperforming so he contacts the AIB who made it (ASRock/Sapphire/XFX) and tells them about his concerns.
The AIB tells him to fire up Hogwarts: Legacy and use the Adrenalin Performance Overlay to tell them what his frame rate is at 1440p Ultra. He tells them that it's showing him about 75FPS so the AIB assures him that his card is running exactly how it should. They ask him if he has had any other issues he says no. and they tell him not to worry but they'll help him out if there really is something wrong. AR can't shake the feeling that something's wrong so he puts his RX 6800 XT back in and runs the game again with the Adrenalin overlay and is shocked to see 73FPS. He calls the AIB again and tells them about the lack of difference between the two cards only to be told "Yes, that's right, there's very little difference between them." which now has him reeling.
So, AR asks NG how much the RTX 4080 cost him and NG told him that it cost $1200. AR looks for information about video card performance and finds out that the $1000 RX 7900 XTX is the rival of the RTX 4080. Now AR is pissed because he literally wasted $500 on a card that should have been the rival of the RTX 4080 but it has been well over a month so he can't return the card. He would've been willing to pay $200 less for the card that rivalled NG's RTX 4080 but now that he's blown $500, he's unable to do so. The RX 7800 XT may be the last Radeon card he ever buys because he obviously can't trust AMD to keep their $hit straight.
This is how most people buy things that they're not very knowledgeable about and a lot of people are going to get burned by this. If people are willing to turn a blind eye to underhanded things like this, then it will become the new normal and who wants that? If the RX 7900 XTX was called the RX 7800 XT, I still would've bought it because of the specs with the great deal that I got. Remember that RNDA1 only went up to level-7 with the RX 5700 XT and it was still very successful. Actions like this will be beneficial in the short-term (like the RX 7800 XT having great performance for the price in this generation) but it will also go a long way to shatter the trust that a lot of people have in the Radeon brand for situations like the one I described (or similar situations). The last thing that AMD can afford to do is destroy the trust of those who already do trust them because their slice of the market is tiny compared to nVidia's.
I hope that this clarifies what I said.
But!!! at the same time, (I'm guessing it was the way I was raised or something) a responsible consumer wouldn’t simply throw money at something without researching it. In today’s world, we have easy access to more consumer facing product reviewers than ever before, and at our fingertips anywhere we are, including while at the store looking at the wall of GPUs. All it takes is 5 seconds to google “RX7800XT performance” or “RX7800XT vs rtx4080” or “AMD gpu comparable to rtx4080”. To blindly purchase a $500 card without doing the bare minimum due diligence of googling it right before taking it off the shelf is mind boggling to me.
Although IDK, maybe I am out of touch with humanity, cause I will research even the cheapest things. 100% true, I will stand in the middle of the lightbulb section of Home Depot on my phone for a good 15-20 minutes and look up specs and reviews of different light bulbs to figure out which is best for my needs lol!