It has turned off friends of mine to brewing, and I always have trouble getting them to realize you can make good beer, just not out of cane or corn sugar. It's a shame, because some good kits are out there, like the ones at morebeer. These cheapo kits that come with caps, a can of LME, a pack of dry yeast and tell you to add sugar and not bother to boil the wort are a recipe for disaster. You have zero percent chance of making good beer.
I think kits like that are where the notion that homebrew just tastes "different" from "real" beer comes from. There oughta be a law