Most of the other crypto-currencies have features that are different from Bitcoin. Is that not something we should ENCOURAGE?! Take a great idea (a theft-proof, inflation-proof, counterfeit-proof currency) and try to make it better.
So yes, it's easy to start these alternates, but what's difficult is differentiating them from Bitcoin. And if the alternates aren't different, then what wide-spread attention do they attract? Bitcoin has a "first-mover advantage," which makes it difficult to topple, but some of the alternate currencies are, I believe, BETTER than Bitcoin (i.e. Litecoin). Yet, by comparison, the exchange value of many of the alternates are mere fractions of bitcoins. To proclaim that the market is "flooded" with cheap knock-off coins is disingenuous. Yes, there are alternates, but with the exception of a few real innovators, no one takes them seriously... outside of gambling on what amounts to a penny stock, and there ain't nothing wrong with that.