Flexcoin said it solved "nearly all" of Bitcoin's problems, then it lost $600,000. #oops
The only thing painful about the bitcoin protocol in a non-computing non-internet world is the single, yet distributed, public ledger. If that's the pain point that needs a solution, I'm sure some genius will figure a way to distribute the public ledger in the dark ages as well.
In any case, to return to your original comment "how can people see value", I cannot answer that because I don't know everyone who is interested's intentions. However. I see value in what the protocol represents: an open, public, cheap solution to the transfer/exchange of money. I think it is a massive revolution in accounting and banking, and I think that the future is something like this. Because of that, I see value in the protocol.
Even when BTC (the tokens not he protocol) were valued at 0.0001USD each I valued them higher than that. Now that they are ~600USD each I think the tokens are out of my reach, but still value them higher than that. And this is primarily because I value USD as much much less than an idea like bitcoin.
Is it young? Absolutely. Are there growing pains? Absolutely. Will it be the end-all-be-all? Who knows, but probably not (definitely not in its current incarnation). Will my valuation of it increase? Probably, but who knows. And that's all that matters, imo.