I am very tempted to start a separate thread on this as it is topic that I have long been curious about. I play electric bass and also listen to a lot of rock music. The low E string on a bass is 41Hz which is well below the stated +/- 3dB frequency response of most speakers. Many players use 5 string basses now where the low B is 31Hz. Those notes are still audible on bookshelf speakers, but compared to the real thing they sound anemic and lacking "punch" or energy. The same would hold true for the bass string section of an orchestra which also plays down to E (and there are 5 string double basses as well). The low E (41Hz) is a very common note so pretty much all speakers must be able to produce it, albeit at varying levels.
The logical conclusion is that the important factor becomes the slope at which the bass rolls off, or the -6dB and -10dB points, which few manufacturers list. Boundary gain also needs to be taken into account, but that will vary greatly between speaker models and room configurations. My Studio 20's are rated down to 54Hz +/- 2dB and from the graphs on Stereophile look to be -7dB at 40Hz and -14dB at 30Hz. Without subwoofers those low bass notes will never have the same impact as the live instrument. My bass cabinet, for example, uses a 15" Electrovoice driver that has no problems getting down to 30Hz. It's no surprise that the 7" woofer in the Studio 20 can't compete. As Mr Boat would say, you can't beat displacement.
Unless you have true full range speakers, this just reinforces the importance of having properly integrated subs to cover the below 60Hz content. For the "undiscerning" that you mention, I think ignorance is bliss, as they say. You don't miss what you don't know about. Once you have heard a system that reproduces deep bass properly, though, it's hard to go back.