With the incredible growth of users utilizing GPUs to mine, the majority of CPU users seem to be getting left behind. When I first started Bitcoin, I wasn't even aware that my video card could be utilized for things like CUDA and OpenCL. Of course after doing a few hours of reading, I was using the Nvidia SDK to test out what they could do.
My video card is nothing special, as I run most of my applications on a laptop. My initial hashing rate with the GPU however was over 5 times faster than the CPU. Using the same power, but 6 times as fast? Granted, that's a difference between 1.4 Mhash and 6.6 Mhash, which is relatively slow either way, but it's still significant enough for me to realize that it was incredibly inefficient to mine with my CPU.
I said "relatively slow", in relative to the hashing power of the rest of the network. The mining pool that I'm currently part of is about 85 Ghash so my individual contribution is pretty small. Compared to one of the faster pools like Slush who is at 150 Ghash or so, the pool I'm part of is a bit slower.
Now lets look at this whole situation from the point of view of a new user in the world of Bitcoin, who may or may not be aware of the ability to use his GPU for this, or even having a compatible GPU in the first place. The average user will be hashing at a rate of around 2 Mhash with a standard desktop computer. If that average user never looks at ways to generate faster, or never looks into pooled mining, it's likely to be years before he generates his first block.
Seems like the new user doesn't have a realistic chance to get blocks. So like most people, he'd leave the client on for a few weeks, maybe a few months, but most likely never contribute anything to the network and leave the situation with a sour taste in his month about Bitcoins.
There is a very big discussion at the moment about totally removing the option to generate coins in the standard miner. Removing the option to generate coins should not be removed, instead of a checkbox, it should be a dialogue window that can scan your video card and check if it's OpenCL compatible, and if so give you the option to use it for mining.
Of course, they could also give the option on top of that, to allow you to connect to a remote pooled miner. Pooled mining is the only way to go nowadays. Because of how many powerful pools exist already, the difficulty of each block is steadily increasing on a daily basis. A new miner should be aware of this before he starts so that he knows that we don't want to waste his time or resources.