I caved in and bought a Dot. I don't have a "smart" home, frankly I am using it for weather reports and radio function. You can set it up to play dozens of radio stations for free, from around the world. It's a pretty cool function. I plug it in to an outlet in the bedroom when I'm getting ready in the morning so I can listen to news and traffic reports while I get ready. I might have not bought one but a little stereo we got as a wedding gift burned out the display (so you can't see what station is playing, it is digital display) - which is likely repairable, but who knows how long it will take me to get around to it. Spending $30 was faster (I got one off eBay rather than buying direct from Amazon, so I saved a couple of bucks). Of course there was a news report this morning that people were reporting that the darn thing was letting out a creepy laugh in the dark, all by itself. Knowing that this device is "always on" and listening if you have it plugged in (and don't shut the speaker off), I unplug it when I'm not using it. I'm not paranoid, but no need for Amazon to passively listen to whatever.
Anyhow, it's a fun little toy. Of course Michael seems to think if he shouts at it, it will understand him better. And he is prone to asking it to do goofy things, like sing the Star Spangled Banner. I think they could be used with some as of yet undeveloped app to monitor Senior Citizen's homes (like the Life Alert thing) - so they could say "Alexa, I need an ambulance" and it could call for help. I'm sure that is in development, it seems a no-brainer.