Unless it (somehow) finds a way to decrease latency in the future, it will remain as it is today - filling a useful niche for the masses, and even a daily driver for the privacy concerned - but I can't see it ever being in the mainstream. The average users couldn't give two hoots about privacy - they just want things to work, which is an understandable PoV.
And why would anyone visit HN with it? FB, I can get behind, but what tangible benefits would you get from using Tor on a site which (afaik) doesn't track you, and doesn't sell your data? Genuinely curious.
The Hidden Service functionality is great for breaking out of Carrier Grade NAT, normal NAT, or any other restricted network environment.
A prime example of this is being able to SSH into devices running on a 4G LTE connection. You're behind CGNAT so the public IP address is not unique to you, and you definitely can't port forward as you're just a customer and not in control of the ISP systems. If you run a Hidden Service, you can break right out - and it's secure too, as long as you use the new Onion v3 spec rather than the original Onion v2.
I agree that Tor seems to have a large stigma though - I find that the terms 'Tor' and 'Onion' usually make people who aren't aware think of the scary criminal underground. The term 'Hidden Service' isn't so bad. The idea that Tor is simply a networking tool seems new to most people.