Good analogies. I agree that without censorship-resistance what is left is not that interesting.
I disgree slightly with the characterization of payment channels and the comparison to a credit card transaction for iTunes. In fact, your financial institution is “locking up” collateral in order to make that iTunes micropayment work for you. That’s what a credit card is. So, LN micropayments are not that different, except you can do it without a bank by putting up the collateral yourself.