People need to come off the whole "business travelers don't care about windows" schtick.
While I certainly agree that most business travelers are not gaping out windows for hours with rail atlases and scanners in hand, I have plenty of anecdotal evidence that they do appreciate scenery (particularly New England), the larger windows compared to Amfleet, and seat orientation.
- I have heard many conversations in Acela First Class discussing where we are and the nice views (every year to get back up to wife/kids vacationing up north, plus business trips in a past life).
- Even when not discussing, I note a lot of eyes appreciating the views from Hell Gate, the shoreline around Westerly, and others.
- Even when not staring out the windows, it is nice to have them. It is nice to look up from the laptop from time to time and clear one's head. It is nice to experience some level of natural light. I don't stare out the windows of my house like Jimmy Stewart, but that doesn't mean I'm going to brick them off to save climate control costs. I don't position chairs to stare at walls if I can help it.
- Even in commuter service (which I take daily), with passengers that have far lower expectations than Acela passengers, the forward facing seats almost always go first. Longer distance trains have rotated seats for a long time, and it wasn't to accommodate railfans. Amtrak will do what they do, but I see no need to self-flaggelate for daring to want better, or actually wanting to enjoy travel.
- Finally, I would note that for the overseas examples provided by Mr Norman, trains in those countries are often far more a way of life. Even on the vaunted corridor here, train travel for many Amtrak passengers is still something of a "novelty" compared to overseas. I can see them being a bit more jaded.
Long-Distance trains are the root of all evil in the known universe.