Have you ever traveled to Europe?
Go visit Rome where they build homes out of concrete. How are you going to fish you wires there? They seem like they barely use conduit. I saw wires surface mounted on the outside of prestigious buildings, tourist attractions, etc.
Not everyone builds with frame construction.
I am a firm believer in the only conduit on a house should be the 24" - 36" of stub for a phone/coax demarc... when it comes to everything else it seems like wires can always be fished, may not be easy but it can be done... I know I wouldn't want a stick of pipe running up my wall so I would never put it on someones house... it seems as though "high end homes" and "conduit" don't go together... just my opinion though...