My brain doesn't seem to have the wiring to deal with sports discussions or celebrity gossip. But a lively discussion about cards and tiles…that is the kind of "trainwreck" I will slow down my car and even roll down the window to keep track of.
The OP then goes on further to say cards as a design choice inevitably "cheapens" a game.
I like tiles, and I like cards. Both of these things will, eventually, wear out under enough manipulation. I wish I had a game I played so much the cards broke. The closest game in my collection is Snap, whose pieces are in a configuration that Mr. Miller could only dream in his darkest, deepest colby-jack-and-salami fueled nightmares.
So of course after many, many play-throughs the cardboard layers are starting to separate. You know what I am going to do after the game has lost it's playability? I'm going to buy another copy!
Expensive you might say. But really, any game holding you and your group's interest long enough to wear out its pieces probably deserves a little additional investment. How many pristine game boxes are sitting in your closet right now? How many have you played more than 2 or 3 times?
In addition, thanks to the Magic: The Gathering cultists and their card-protecting fanaticism, anyone in the world can purchase these things called sleeves. If you really need to.