Best take I’ve read on the polarizing UI concept. This guy gets it. When there’s an ease of use or inherent familiarity that comes from the visual design, it demands more from the argument than simply taste.
“iBooks, an app that was introduced with the original iPad, uses a wooden bookshelf with books outward facing and pages that turn so closely to real life. iBooks is a wonderful example of how real skeuomorphism can help a user understand how to use it. The original iPad was touted as “you already know how to use it.” How right they were. It’s not just that we’ve used iPhones before it, but that some interfaces lend themselves to be incredibly easy, like iBooks.
iBooks showed us that we don’t have to just make table cells and navigation bars and buttons. Even though iBooks technically has these things, a user doesn’t parse them the same way as they do when in a “standard” or “unthemed” app like Settings.” — http://mantia.me/blog/skeuomorphism/