What's The Deal With Vinyl?

Here's a picture of my in-law's neighbors. It used to be nondescript white vinyl sided with stock plastic shutters that looked like every other house on the block. Only the overall shape gave it away as an Italianate as compared to all the nearby Victorians. But they've been updating.
It's hard to tell, but half the roof is now tin instead of shingles and the window trim has been repainted. But the biggest surprise to me was the great, original wood siding. It's just right, their width, depth and pitch just made the house pop! If they would only paint the siding and make the trim a nice color, I think the house would look great. But get this - their installing new vinyl siding! What is it that possesses people to bury beautiful treasures like that?